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Ohio Doughboys in Italy
The Princa of Wales and Colonel Wilham Wallace
COLOMEL WILLIAM WALLACE
PRIVATE WALTER C. HART
LIEUTENAHT GEORGE W. CONELLT
CAPTAIN J. McKINNEY
MAJOR CONSTANT SOUTHWORTrl
LIEUTENANT A. A. RENDIGS, JR.
MEUTEN ANT CARL H. TRIK, 3cl
Ohio Doughboys in Italy
The regimental insignia made at Milan and subsequently furnish-
ed the 332nd Regiment, bears the famous Lion of St. Mark.
St. Mark, who is known as "The Historian of the Resurrection,"
is the patron saint of Venice, and the "Lion of St. Mark" is his sym-
bol. It is an appropriate symbol, since people in the Middle Ages
believed the cub of a lioness was always born dead and after three
days the lioness infused breath into the cub. This awakening typified
the Resurrection. Since the angels, who are messengers of heaven,
are represented as having wings, the lion is winged and represents
one who bears good tidings. St. Mark's body was brought from
Alexandria, Egypt, about 828 A. D.
It was altogether fitting that the 332nd Infantry, whose field of
military operations was almost entirely in the Province of Venezla
(Venice), should adopt this symbol as its official regimental insignia.
Oltio DoiKjlihous in Italy
OKio Dougnbo3)5 in Ital}?
Reminiscences of (ke 332d Infantry)
The 332nd Infantry was mobilized at Cami> Sherman (Sept. 7,
1917, to Nov. 18, 1917) and trained at Camp Perry, sailing on the
"Aquitania" from New York (June 8, 1918), arriving at Liverpool,
June 15, 1918. The outfit proceeded immediately to Southampton;
the next day, to Le Havre; then through Paiis and Foulain to
Mandres. Hers the regiment was reviewed by General Pershing and
President Poincaire on June 23, 1918; and by the Chief of Staff of
the Belgian Army on June 26, 1918. On July 26. 1918. the organiza-
tion left for duty in Italy.
The debacle of Capporetto, which drove the Italian Aimy across ViUorio
Venetia to the western banks of thp Piave River, was one of the disasters of
tlie World War to the Allied cause. Although France and England felt it^
indirect results, Italy was to bear the full brunt in the loss of territory, men
and munitions. But uneasiness in the Allied Councils was at once manifest
over the lowered morale of the Italian Army and civilians Gorman propa-
ganda, before the drive of ihe Central Powers into Italy, had helped bring
about the defeat at Capporetto and nearly lost to Hun vandalism the treasured
city of Venice. The Germans planned theii- propaganda in masterly fashion
and much better than usual. It was well timed, for at the moment many
Italians were ready to believe anything was preferable to a continuance of
mouldy war bread and macaroni "slum."
Socialism and anti-war feeling (before Italy joined the Allied forces) were
strongly intrenched from toe to strap of the Italian boot. Continued warfare,
with its irksome penalties produced in the minds of the discontented, a feeling
of war-weariness like that which overthrew the Russian giant. German prop-
aganda guns were turned toward this vulnerable morale salient in the Italian
nation. Then followed Capporetto, and beguilers and beguiled were in the
state of self-satisfaction which gave them the seeming right to shout: "I told
you so." So lowered was Italian morale that every one who understood the
situation was worried lest still darker times might follow.
The Italian Minister of War had a happy thought. At a meeting of the
Supreme War Council, in Paris, February 6, 1918, he asked Pershing to send
a battalion ot Americans to Italy. A battalion was all he requested — not for
the strength a battalion might exert in a military way, but for bolstering up
the weak-kneed in the Italian Army and civilian population. The Italian Min-
ister strongly urged that such American units be sent directly to an Italian
port as tangible proof of the co-operation of the American nation. He was cer-
tain that the effect would be electrical upon all classes in Italy, especially the
large number of Italian Americans who had returned to their native soil
Pershing evidently thought well of the proposal, and cabled asking for
instructions. Four months later, he received from Washington the following
"Reference to shipment of one regiment of American Infantry to
Italy, the Secretary of War directs that you ship one regiment from
your command for that purpose "
Italy had asked for one battalion and received three — a regiment. Why
not a division? This question is answered by the battle m*p of France, in
June, 1918. Every ounce of manhood and material was then needed to save
Paris, France, and the Allied Cause.
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 3
Between June 4 and 21, the 83rd Ohio National Army Division arrived in
France. Then quickly followed the 37th (Buckeye) National Guard Division,
which began to debark June 23. July saw Ohio well represented on the rain-
sodden fields of France. Men of Ohio in the Regular Divisions had previously
fought at Cantigny and on the Marne, and now the flower of Ohio manhood
had added its greater quota to the Cause.
The 83rd, as a Division, was soon "out of luck." Pershing ordered ii split
into fragments, sending the greater part to other divisions as replacements, —
all except the 332nd Regiment of Infantry under the command of Colonel Wil-
liam J. Wallace, and the 331st Field Hospital Company. To use official lan-
guage, that regiment and the Field Hospital Company were ordered "shipped"
In civilian life, everything from mules to potatoes is shipped; humanity
is not usually considered freight or cargo. In the army it is different; men
in O. D. go under the same mental bill of lading as do bales, boxes and crates.
One is half persuaded that the reporter who made a blunder by referring to
the famous "Pullman" cars of France as being labelled "8 Chevaux and 40
Hommes" was a former S. O. S. man. Men and horses were alike to him. But
then one must not be too hard on the fine fellows who arranged the round
trip of the 332nd from America to France and Italy, and home again.
The 332nd was selected by Pershing as the most available. It was neces-
sary, as he cabled Washington, to select from the 83rd Division; all other
Divisions were either m the battle line or completing arrangements to be
placed in the front. Hence the 83rd was used as a replacement division, less
the Regiment of Infantry and 331st Field Hospital Company which were desig-
nated for service in Italy.
During the time between the Italian requests and the actual detail of the
o32nd, the Chief of the American Military Mission to Italy, Major General
Eben Swift, had been busily engaged in a survey for a suitable American
Military Base in Italy. During the latter part of June, 1918, investigations of
conditions at Parma, Borgo, S. Domino and Fiorenzuela had been conducted.
Of these Parma presented the best possibilities, but was discounted on account
of the already overcrowded condition among the Italian soldiers temporarily
On July 23, the Italian War Ministry had tentatively decided upon Savona
as a disembarking port and Cantalupo as a supply base, but in forwarding that
decision General Swift stated that if only a regiment of American? arrived a
separate supply base weuld be unnecessary.
Preparations had also been made in advance for ambulance service, as
may be seen by the following instructions issued to the Chief of the United
States Army Ambulance Service with Italian Army.
.'The 332nd Infantry, accompanied by the 331st Field Hospital Company
of the American Expeditionary forces, will soon be sent to Italy for duty.
"No ambulances are being sent with these troops. It is desired that you
take steps to ascertain from the proper Italian authorities the date of arrival
and destination of the above-mentioned organizations and prepare to supply
them during their stay in Italy with such ambulance service as they may
require. At least one of your sections should be permanently attached to the
July 25th found the Regiment en route to Italy by rail. Upon arrival in
Italy, the troops v/ere hurrahed and cheered and then billeted in various
places, in accordance with the joint plans arranged by the American and
Italian military authorities.
Some were sent to Villafranca, others to Custoza and the balance were
billeted in Summacompaqua. The quarters in those places may have been
satisfactory to the Italians, but the men of Ohio had no relish for the incom-
modious and generally unsatisfactory living conditions. Consequently Colonel
Wallace requested a ti-ansfer to better quarters, and the regiment soon found
itself in Vallegio. Here they were provided with an entirely new camp equip-
ment and rationed with a full allowance of food. This was a notable achieve-
Jf Ohio Doiighboys in Italy
ment on the part of the Italians, since their own troops were on a scanty meat
ration. But the Americans were to be made welcome and as happy as possible
under the circumstances.
At Vallesio, Ihe 3o2nd underwent an intensive training program under
Major Allegretti. This officer, who was most popular with the Americans,
comnranded the shock troops, the Arditti, of the Italians. The character of
training soon revealed the main purpose of the American troops in Italy,
namely, to build up the morale of the Italians, and as a corollary, destroy that
of the Austrians.
During the training period the officers of the 332nd made frequent obser-
vation visits to the front lines, where they created a sensation for friend and
foe alike. Officers only remained for a short time on these visits, when they
were withdrawn and others sent up on like missions. The idea was to create
The impression that :he;e was a vast body of American troops in Italy. This
checkerboard movement was later extended to the companies of the Regiment.
In the early part of October, the 2nd Battalion of the 332nd, under the
command of Major William G. Everson, moved into camp just north of the
Treviso. During the month the remainder of the regiment left Vallegio and
marched to Treviso, where they intrenched. At this point the Italians held
one side of the Piave River, where it ilowed between the Carnic Alps, while
the opposite side was held by the Austrians. Definitely located at Treviso,
the Regiment began its gruelling grind of the hardening process.
Inasmuch as the Americans had been billeted and living more or less
easily, and in view of the fact that they were about to enter into a drive that
would require extreme hardihood to stand the rigors of long forced marches
under full equipment, it was deemed expedient by the Italians to harden the
men to what they might expect in action.
Consequently daily hikes were started under full equipment. They ranged
from 10 kilometres to, finally, 25 kilometres. Each battalion was given a dif-
ferent route and received orders to so time its march as to meet the other
two battalions at a given time at a given spot.
The orders were that every man should go on these hikes, but a guard to
be left at quarters. In one instance a certain captain was ordered to take
men over the groimd covered the day before because the men were in
excess of the number permitted to remain behind, and missed the hike.
The value of these hikes was amply proved later in the Big Push when the
men marched as high as 42 kilometres in one day under full pack.
ITALIAN BATTLE PLANS.
The Italians were massing for the attack which was to be conducted
according to the following plan:
"In the section from the Swiss border down to the Adige River, no
definite movement was to be undertaken. In the sector between the Adige
and the Brenta sufficient activity was to be undertaken to occupy the ter-
ritory held by the enemy's troops in this sector and prevent their being-
shifted to more seriously threatened points. Between the Brenta and the
Piave the advance was to be sufficiently far to occupy the commanding
heights in this sector and to cue off communications from Feltre to the
Ar^iago Plateau. The main movement was to center about the Eighth
Italian Army in the region of Montello.
"Across the Piave and to the north of Montello there is a prominent
ridge cf hills rising from the Piave near Sernaglia to an altitude of twelve
to fourteen hundred feet and running northeast toward Vittoria. Much
of the Austrian artillery was located on the south face of this ridge and
on some lower hills just west of the Conegliano. The ridge is reached by
only two good roads, one in the vicinity of Soligo and the other from Con-
geliano to Tanzo, which, the plan contemplated, were to be destroyed and
made impassable by artillery fire from the vicinity of^Iontebello. The
only other means of retreat for the Austrian y^rmy troops located South of
this lidge was round to the south point of the hill or thj-oueh Vittorio.
Ohio Bouglitoys in Italy 5
The Twelfth Army was to advance on Vittorio and close Ihe egress in this
direction, whtn it was hoped that a large part of the artillery and the
troops in this sector would be cut off and captured. The Tenth Army was
to hold the line, Conegiano southeast to the river and when securely in
position, the Third Army was to cross and move the northeast toward
"Crossing was to be made over a series of sixteen foot-bridges and
eight wagon-bridges between Vidor and Nervessa, with additional bridges
in the vicinity of Papadopoli Island for the Tenth Army, and some to the
north of Vidor for the crossing of the Twelfth Army. All the bridges
between Vidor and Nervessa were broken the first day by the current or
the Austrian artillery fire and they were unable to replace them. Many
of the bridges to the north and south of this sector were also destroyed
during the day and replaced during the night, which accounts for the
modification in the plan of advance from that contemplated in the original
"A division or more of cavalry was to be crossed over the fords in
the vicinity of Popodopoli Island for use in the plain country to the north
Such were the plans of the Italian command. In the main they were fol-
lowed out, but in subsequent paragraphs will be seen where the Big Push was
carried off and the variations that were made necessary by the exigencies of
battle, especially as they related to the Americans.
6 Ohio Doughboys in Italy
ni\e First ni\ree MontKs in Ital})
By Private Walter C. Hart.
On entering Italy with Company "D", our impressions were
the same as everybody in the 332nd got since all entered over the
same route. Then, too, the receptions tendered us were really
meant for the American Army and hence bear great general inter-
Our Company reached and passed the Reyssouse River at
Bourg the morning of July 27th. The early hours were chill and
damp. From Bourg the route led to Amberieu, where after a half-
hour stop, the train backed up to enter the Alpine Pass — the same
as was used by ancient conquerors.
The extremity of the Alpine Pass looks down upon the plains
of northern Italy — and the memory of that afternoon shall forever
remain a cherished recollection in the war annals of every man
lucky enough to be there. Above, the Alps !
The palaces of nature, whoso vast walls,
Have pinnacled in clouds their snowy scalps,
And thron'd eternity in icy halls
Of cold sublimity, where forms and falls
The avalanche — the thunderbolt of snow!
All that expands the spirit, yet appalls,
Gather around these summits, as to show
How earth may pierce to Heaven, yet leave vain man below.
—Byron: ''Childe Harold."
Aix-les-Bains, that most renowned watering place of Europe,
nestling amid Alpine crags on the edge of the beautiful Lake Bour-
get, was reached at 5 :00 p. m. A gorgeous sunlight flooded the
mountains and pierced the crystal depths of the lake. Another
hour of tingling wonderment and the troop train came to a stand-
still in cosmopolitan Chambery. Clouds rolled over the mountain
sides and soon rain was falling fast.
Within the station area a queer crowd was passing to and fro.
Peasant mountaineers, bearing (apparently) all their earthly pos-
sessions, jammed the passageways and excitedly jostled their neigh-
bors for the right of fullest personal liberties. Soldiers from all
Allied countries stirred through the crowd, some returning from
leave, others newly arrived. Chambery is near the heart of
France's most attractive scenery. Here was the American Red
Cross as though to give the men one last farewell on French soil.
Only a short delay, one last glance at the great cross surmounting
the highest mountain overlooking the city, and the troops waved
its adieu to Chambery. A drizzling rain fell.
The next stop half an hour later was made at Montmelian,
nestling in the shadow of Mt. Savoie, Mt. Glazier, and Mt. Mont-
melian. By this time the rain had ceased Heavily leaved trees
Ohio Doiigliboijs in Italy 7
dripped with water so recently fallen ; the atmosphere was charged
with the odor of fir and summer flowers.
Here half an hour's delay to wash and clean up permitted some
of the men to climb a little hill to a spot where a more command-
ing view of the mighty snow-covered crags could be had. The
scene was an inspiring one. A great trinity of walls rose to the
very heavens. "Look," said an English Red Cross nurse, "and if
the sun comes out you'll see Mont Blanc." Then as though to grat-
ify the sensibilities of every man, a ray of golden sunset pierced
the dark gray mass of clouds wrapping the crest; the clouds dis-
persed and slowly fell away from the mountain crest, unfolding a
crystal shaft sparkling in the golden shaft of light, and the men
recalled the words of Byron in Manfred.
Mont Blanc is the monarch of mountains.
They crowned him long ago
On a throne of rocks, in a robe of clouds.
With a diadem of snow.
The engine shrieked. These pioneering American soldiers
scrambled to find their places on the train. Darkness fell fast
down in the valley. The train moved in to the night and into the
region of never ending snow. A region of eternal ice is cold ; it is
needless to say this night, the last on the soil of France, was not a
Thirteen lost its unsavory reputation when, on August 13,
1918, the entire 332nd Regiment arose early and marched to a
point 1 km. east of Valeggio on the Mincio River. On August 14,
camp was completely and carefully pitched. The change from the
stuffy and ofttimes crowded conditions prevalent in the villages
to an open air camp was welcome; and from now on till their de-
parture from Valeggio this camp and its surroundings brought
much pleasure to the men of the 332nd. The spot was picturesque.
Just a little distance to the north the Custoza hills arose, and
on their crest could be seen the monument which commemorates
the battles of 185^ and 1866 between Austria and Italy, while
beyond Custoza the Alps stood in bold relief, occasionally dotted,
even in the hottest weather, by snow-covered peaks.
Valeggio itself, one kilometer west, lay around the base of the
north side of a hill, rising sheerly 400 ft. from the plain, on the
camp side, and dropping abruptly 500 ft. to the Mincio River on
the west. An historic looking and age-beaten and medieval castle
stood on the summit of the hill, dominating the region for twenty
miles in every direction. West of the hill the crystal clear Mincio,
taking its water from Lago de Garda, flowed swiftly on its way
to the Po. An old Roman bridge spanned the Mincio, a fitting
companion for the ruined castle high above. Many successive
days the Amex troops marched through Valeggio. and up the hill,
then down the other side past the bridge, across the Mincio to a
level valley covered with mulberry and grape vine where realistic
combat work was executed. To the east and south of the Valeg-
8 Ohio Doughhoi/s in Italy
gio camp site extended an almost unbroken level ; 12 kms. to the
east was Villafranca ; 40 kms. to the south was Mantova (Mantua) ;
Lago di Garda was 10 kms. northeast.
A heavy drill schedule began at once. Shade could be found
nowhere; the sun's burning rays could not be avoided. The nights
spent in the open tents under a boundless sky, glistening with
bright stars, amply compensated for the scorching noonday heat.
The Y. M. C. A. and the Red Cross, the latter under Miss
Mcintosh and Mr. (Daddy) Butler, did effective and excellent
work for the members of the 332nd. Both organizations did all
that was humanly possible to fulfill the hopes of the American pub-
lic. Their presence brought joy to the men. Their advent here
was surely marked with real service.
The troops continued intensive training through the later
summer; each man, already overtrained, began hoping that the
impending day would soon arrive when the big drive in Italy would
At the close of the day's heavy, and by this time, monotonous
drill, the men spent their evenings on the streets and in the small
shops of Valeggio, or bathed in the clear, swift waters of the Min-
cio. The camp life, too, was diversified by Sunday trips to Lago di
Garda and Verona.
All methods of warfare known to the modern world were pre-
sented to the men in a practical way on the bombing range ; artil-
lery, flares, gas, shrapnel bombs, gas bombs, smoke bombs, auto-
matic rifles, trench mortars, machine guns, rifle grenades, and
liquid fire — all were used in the manoeuvers. By the close of sum-
mer these troops were doubtless equal to the most highly trained
regiments in the U. S. Army.
In preparation for an international Field Meet under the
Military at Rome, meets were arranged to choose the American
representatives from the 332nd Infantry and a battalion elimina-
tion contest was held on September 3.
Tuesday, Sept. 2, saw the departure from camp of the first
American combatant troops on the Italian front; the second bat-
talion went to the Piave lines where they entered the trenches at
Varago. The ground where their tents had stood was leveled,
along with the streets and clever gravel designs before the tents.
From this it was plainly evident that the second battalion would
not return to the Valeggio camp, and with this indication there
was revived the hope for early action and a change from the de-
pressing influence of constant training. The men were stale and
overtrained by severe, intensive drills for long hours every day in
the hot sun.
Combat work continued at the range and being of a peculiarly
practical nature and free from wearisome "Squads^ Right" and
"Squads Left". This training in actual assault broke the dull mo-
notony of the usual schedule. By this time, in drill and combat,
Ohio Doughboys in ItaUi
Band ot .;.;_'ii(l lutantry, Wiiuf. bunJay, August .; l:M^.
The Governor's Palace. Fiume, occupied by Allied troops in Xov. 1918
later D'Annunzio's Headquarter?.
10 Ohio DaiKjhhoi/s in I tall/
there was scarcely an infantry movement, or mrde o^ warfare,
scarcely a device known to military tactics that had not been tried
by the 332nd men.
At Ciistoza Hill, on the very ground fought over in 1858 and
again in 1866 by Austrians and Italians, now marked by two mon-
uments, the regiment entered the trenches and did its first actual
trench work overseas. The Custoza region was pitted by trenches
and dugouts, and covered with barbed wire entanglements in prep-
aration for any military exigency that might arise from attack by
enemy forces from the Trento area. While here the Amex men
helped themselves to the grapes in the vicinity of the trenches and
as a result, the levy made in equity of this gluttonous act eventu-
ally cost each man three lire.
September 12, the regiment suffered a severe blow by the
explosion of a Stokes Mortar gun on the Borghetto combat field,
when seven officers and men were killed, and almost two score
others wounded and mangled. This accident alone took a greater
toll of American lives than the actual fighting in the Battle of
The Arditi, commanded by Major Allegretti, under whose di-
rection most of the manoeuvers on the combat range were carried
out, entertained the 332nd Infantry at a Field Meet in which they
demonstrated to their American "Fratelli" their aptitude for, and
skill in, athletics.
Marching upon the field at double time they opened their meet
by quickly forming a triangular pyramid at the top of which was
unfurled the "Stars and Stripes" as their military band struck up
the "Star Spangled Banner". This stirring initial event preceded
a fast and clever Soccer Game, followed by a Tug-of-War, Races,
Jumps, Pole Vault, Hand Springs, and Bomb Throwing Contests.
The command came on Wednesday, October 2, to destroy the
gravel designs around the tents, to level the ground, and to fill in
the streets of the camp. That night pup tents covered the former
camp site now transformed by picks and shovels to a rough area
of torn and irregular earth. The men of the 332nd had at last
received the long-awaited order to go to the front.
The hike from Valeggio to Villafranca on the afternoon of
October 3, was made in ideal weather conditions. At the station
there was but a very short delay in entraining, after which the
route led eastward toward Verona and the Piave River. Specula-
tion as to the destination was rife. Vicenza was reached and
passed; the course proceeded eastward in the darkness broken by
flashes of intermittent light on the northern horizon. A dull re-
verberating roar spread over the plains around; the flashes and
the sound spoke plainly of the gigantic struggle for mastery of the
Alpine peaks. At 2 :30 a. m., October 4, the order, "All out" came.
The air was chill ; the darkness, intense ; the silence, oppressive,
except for the sound of heavy artillery wreaking its cleadly wrath
on the giant walls of Grappa.
The buildings took strange and fantastic shapes in the morn-
Ohio Doughboi/s in Italij 11
ing dark, while the silent uninhabited streets spoke more of death
than life. The first battalion marched to large cavalry barracks,
a bale of straw was distributed to each squad and in a little time
each man lay on the floor in the spot where a few minutes before
he had stood in the ranks.
Their senses steeped in sleep ; the men did not awake till they
were ordered to police the unsanitary camp area at 8 :00 a. m,
"Where are we?" was on the lips of everyone. "Treviso" came
back the answer. No one asked "Where is Treviso?" A glance
about made such a query needless.
An Italian guard stood at the gate in the high wall around
the barracks. A large drill field lay outside, west of the gate.
Across the drill field, 300 yards away, the main highway was filled
with troops and supply trains ; artillery caissons rolled swiftly
forward, drawn by clattering, banging tractors ; automobiles bear-
ing Allied officers of various ranks, but all with serious mien, dash-
ed by. Bersaglieri pedaled their way cleverly through the con-
gested areas ; small mules borne down with machine guns, ammu-
nition, and supplies, were being fed in the shadow of the trees that
lined both sides of the road. Aeroplanes darted low across the
terrain, or, circling magnificently, rose steadily upward, seeking
the best camouflage the sky and clouds oflfered. Others came from
the shadow of one cloud to disappear in the heavy vapor of anoth-
er. Austrian airmen manoeuvred warily to outwit their clever
Italian enemies. A battery of anti-aircraft guns, concealed almost
in the shadow of the barracks, opened fire. There now could be
no question about the location of Treviso — this was the Italian
The Alps rose in full view to the north. The front lines could
easily be discerned by the position of mammoth observation bal-
loons placed at great heights and visible for miles in the direction
of both mountains and sea.
Treviso, a flourishing and renowned center in the middle ages,
is situated at the conjunction of the Sile River with the Botteniga.
Pliny speaks of it vfry c rly. however, when, referrinp* to the
Sile, he says it flows "ex montibus Travisanis" ; that is, from the
mountains to the present Municipium at Treviso.
The city is eighteen miles north by west of Venice and is con-
nected with the lagoons at Venice by a canal. The town has a
mediaeval appearance v\'ith its high walls flanked by bastions, the
moat surrounding the walls, and the narrow, colonnaded streets.
The imposing 12th Century Cathedral, restored in the 15th centu-
ry, has five cupolas. The Gothic Church of San Nicols has a curi-
ous wooden roof and is adorned in peace time with admirable fres-
coes. The Borgo Cavour previous to the war had a library of
50,000 volumes and a picture gallery.
At the time i^-merican troops entered the city, it was a scene
Ohio iJoughhoiis in Italy
HO?iIEWARD— 1. "Goodbye. Miramare".
4. '"Farewell, Genoa'
2. Crowds on pier.
5. From the mast.
Castle of Albert.
Ohio Doughboys i)i Ituhj 13
of desolation. The streets were a litter of brick, mortar, and tim-
ber ; a civilian inhabitant was not to be seen, — it was as though the
inhabitants had fled in a night. There were no frescoes in the
churches, no books in the libraries, no paintings in the gallery.
Everything had been destroyed or carried away. The narrow,
silent, and dirty streets heard only the echo of one's footfalls.
The region of Treviso is sacred ground where the Italian sol-
diers held out so tenaciously against the Germans and Austrians.
Here many thousand young heroes voluntarily sacrificed their lives
for the redemption and greatness of their country.
Each day it was expected would bring orders to go to the lines.
Each day brought its thrill of attempted air raids, of an observa-
tion balloon being shot down, wrapped in tongues of flame and
clouds of gas smoke.
Monday, October 7, brought a new experience. That day or-
ders came to make packs. This order being executed, the men of
the 332nd practiced crossing the swift current of the Sile river in
small boats handled by the men themselves. This training, accord-
ing to report, was in preparation of an assault over the Piave into
the face of the enemy on the east bank. In a short time, after
several days' practice, the crossing was made safely and quickly.
The evening of the same day, a Stand of Colors, the gift of the
Italian Colony in New York, was formally presented to the 332nd
men assembled in formation on the drill field to receive them.
October 12, Columbus Day, was made notable by a visit of
Samuel Gompers, President of the American Federation of Labor.
He stirred the hearts of the men by an eloquent plea for the eman-
cipation of millions in the bondage of political slavery, for the
enthronement of political righteousness, and he paid fine tribute
to the men who fell so gallantly on the bloody Western Front.
Mr. Gompers concluded his concise and inspiring address by a
magnificent appeal to the men of the 332nd to act courageously in
the task they were about to undertake. His assurance that the
folks back home were sharing the trials and pains of the age along
with their soldiers aroused in the men a more intense enthusiasm
to "do something" : In the period from June 8 to October 7, the
men had not seen or heard the voice of an American citizen. Mr.
Gompers, speaking for the American People, bearing his message
direct from home, gratified an intense longing.
11^ Ohio Douiihhoijs in Italy
OThe Crucial Hour
October 25th the order to pack U]) was given. The 332d Regiment,
equipped for action, assem])led upon the drill field ; then in squad forma-
tion it passed in review before an Italian general. To the dismay of
every man, the column swung south toward the barracks, and long before
the second and third battalions were through passing in review, the first
had entered the courtyard at the "casserna."
At the command, " Unsling packs and await orders." the men threw
off their packs in disgust — and waited.
That day i)assed, night came. Straw piled up in the corners of the
buildings and none too sanitary by this time, soon loosely covered the
floor where the men threw themselves in no certain way. They lay in all
their clothes, packs at their side, Avaiting the order to move.
;j:;jiRi lui. TreiK li .iluug road.
In the morning the straw was again piled up, packs and equipment
slung, and everybody waited. That night the straw was scattered over
the floor and another night passed — waiting.
Another day and another night — waiting.
Then another day — but not another night ! Out into the drill field,
onto the road, in the direction of the front, the long squad column of
the 332d Infantry moved silently into the moonless night.
The crucial hour had come ! The time for launching the ever-pend-
ing attack had arrived. The British. French, and Italians were about
to strike from the Alps to the sea, and now the unlu'eakable spirit of
America, the indomitable courage and mighty conviction of one hundred
million people, would lie represented tlici-e liy one regiment of infantry
the 332d, the same kind of Americans as those, who, on the liloody West-
ern Front, were determining the destiny of emjiires.
Oliio DoiKjIiboijs in Itali/
As they marched in the direction of the Grave de Popodapoli, a
large ishmd in the Piave, every man of the 332d felt a thrill at the sight
before him. An artillery barrage was being laid over the Piave such as
never before had been experienced on the Italian Front. Brilliant flashes
of light silhouetting the mountains, illuminated the sunnnit of Mt.
Grappa, 5500 feet above and twenty-five miles distant. Toward the
mouth of the Piave, thirty miles away, mighty flashes of radiant incan-
descent fire from the Allied naval guns in the Adriatic made a spectacle
so appalling that one stood transfixed with awe. The regular and mighty
roar of cannon was on every hand. A wall of flame rose on three sides.
The 332d advanced toward the river into this inferno of fire and shell.
The column halted. A terrific cannonade was going on ahead for posses-
sion of the pontoon bridge just erected over the river to the Island Grave
de Popodai^oli. The enemy planes threatened the bridge, now the center
Road along which
ind Inf. marched.
of a maelstrom of steel. Allied anti-aircraft guns responded viciously.
An observation balloon flashing signals to the artillery, nervously rose
and fell as daring enemy ])lanes threatened her safety.
Daylight came and the men of the 332d found they stood at a "Y"
road, eight miles northeast of Treviso, in the small village of Varago,
now a mass of debris. Every road was carefully camouflaged with every
here and there barbed wire entanglements ready to fall on the road at
the snap of a wire, while the low areas around were a complete network
of barbed wire defense. The roads were choked with men and material
waiting to cross the pontoon bridge.
At the spot where Co. "D" waited in this battle choked area, an
unusual and interesting shrine, consisting of a crucifix Ijearing the
implements of Christ's torture and death, challenged the forces of
combat, and lent to the scene a strangely spiritual touch. Was there
good or evil prophecy of coming events in this for the men of Co. *'D"?
Three times the bridge was destroyed, once by a German aviator and
twice by enemy artillery. When daylight came, a hundred planes darted
Ohio Doughboys in Italy
across the battle areas, or. high above, waited the signal to cross the river.
The 332d awaited orders right in the road. At 5.00 P. M. they
came and were "]\Iove into the field and camp." For two days and a
half the regiment lay there. The British had attacked across the Grave
de Popodapoli with success; this was followed by the Italians on the
right and more British on the left. < )n the morning of October 31 orders
came, and the 332d soon was moving over the l^attle-rocked swamps and
dikes on both sides of the Piave.
It took just ten hours to make four kms. over this congested road
crowded with wounded prisoners and exhausted forces. The wagons
sank deep into the sands of the river ])ed and thus retarded the animals.
Many dead lay in and around the trenches and shell holes of the islands,
grim confirmation of the struggle that had taken place.
The column reached the east l)ank of the river at dusk. The route
was along shelled roads and into the little village of Cimadolmo, its
buildings gutted with shells or razed to an unseendy heap of stone and
Picture taken from German aviator after his capture showing funeral of some noted German.
mortar. Every little home was deserted ; not an inhabitant remained ;
it was a phantom village. 1^'requent oaths of condemnation expressed
the righteous resentment of the men. The tiring night march continued
over shell-torn roads to Vazzolo, where camp Avas pitched in a field, out-
posts were established, and the first night over the Piave w^as spent on
terrain just evacuated by a fleeing enemy. Preparation began early the
next morning for a continued march. The movement began at 11.00
A. M., Noveml)er 1. In the early afternoon a small high- diked stream
was crossed. Here heavy rear guard action had taken place between
the enemy and the British. Many dead, clad in the Austrian field-gray,
lay in the fields and in the ditches at the roadside. A fresh mound con-
tained two hundred Austrian dead. Austrian machine gunners lay at
every turn in the road and in every ditch ; dead horses lay in field and
ditch, the mounts of both pursuing cavalry and of fugitives, slain by
bcmbs from airplanes of the Allies.
Driven by starvation the routed Austrians sabered pieces from the
rumps of most of the dead animals.
Night came. Ii'oii rations l)egan to be used. Tired under the heavy
l)acks and with the food sui)])ly vciy low. the regiment Invouacked on a
Ohio Doughboys in Italy n
low, wet spot. The night was cold ; little rest was expected. Machine
guns rattled on both flanks and in front. Any moment might bring a
surprise attack or the necessity for quick offensive action against the
enemy whose trail the regiment had followed closely since crossing the
The rest was short; at one o'clock in the morning, November 2, the
march resumed. A scant cup of 0. D. coffee was given each man, noth-
ing more. Up till now the regiment had been a reserve unit; from now
on it became the advance guard of the Famous Tenth Army, made up of
British, Italians and Americans.
A quick advance began at 2.00 A. M. At 4.30 A. M. the advance
troops reached Varda on the banks of the Livenza, at this point a rapid
Another photo taken from a captive German showing German General reviewing his troops.
river. The Italian Pontieri had just completed the building of a pontoon
foot bridge \\'hich could accommodate only one file. The Austrians had
occupied the opposite bank only a few hours before. Crossing the foot
bridge at its best was a slow and hazardous operation. Once across the
stream the march after the fleeing enemy resumed without delay, but at
seven o'clock the line halted to await orders at ]\Iaron (a small group of
two or three houses) .
The advance guard doubled. The enemy was in the immediate
vicinity. Aeroplanes circled above them like an eagle darting for its
prey; they swerved down on the fleeing enemy; the missiles could now
be easily seen from the troops' position. A sudden flash lighted up the
sky, which was followed by a deafening crash. Then another, and finally
a third explosion followed. The last concussion caused the earth to rock
and quiver. The enemy was l^lowing Ms dumps, and destroying the
bridges at his rear, the intensity of the explosions proving his nearness.
At this point the high command assigned a five kilometer front to
the Americans in advance of the Tenth Army. From now on careful
watching had to be done of every place affording possible concealment.
The second platoons of each company were assembled and formed a
combat line, directed by Lieutenant Trik, Regimental Intelligence Officer.
Territory was assigned. The platoon leaders' watches were set, and
the enemy designated by a wave of the hand. No maps were furnished —
Ohio Boughhoys in Italy
direction ])y (m)1!ii);iss was the only ji;uide. The men were commanded, on
coming in contact witli the enemy, to keej) going forward, exterminating
machine gunners, snipers, and stragglers, and on no condition to be held
up by the foe. Full equipment, lioth marching and fighting, made up
the load of these men. At 9.30 A. ]\I.. the zero hour, the second platoons
jumijed oil', each in its assigned position, advancing across country at a
prescril)ed cadence of 120 steps per minute. These troops combed the
fields while the main liodv took the higlnvav.
^Machine Gunners in Exjiosed Posts. 332nd Men Wlioni Mud Could Not Discourage.
The Italian terrain was cut by many large and small i-ivers, ditches
and canals, thus forcing the men to wade waist deep in water; again,
with difficulty, they struggled through vineyards; consequently, the
advance was extremely arduous. With a rai)idity that was almost
unbelievable, this si<:irmish line swept on over all the natural barriers
that s])read over the plains ; the liason, however, could not he maintained.
At Prata the In'idge over the San Rocco River had been blown up.
Crossing was made on the ruins. Machine gun carts were dismounted
and carried over ; the mules swam. The patrols, forced to detour here,
double timed to get their 2 kms. lead. The men under heavy equipment,
weakened and fatigued by the tremendous physical exertion without
food, discarded much of their necessary equipment. It was a question
of sacrificing their equipment or of falling from exhaustion.
Search and inquiry at isolated houses revealed that the enemy had
just fled ; that he had taken live stock, linen and furniture, and had de-
stroyed what he could not take.
At Corva, a small town en route, the Italian inhal)itants said the
Austrians, who had learned of the coming Americans, were fleeing in
haste. They — the Austrians — believed the number of Alnericans to be
very great, consecpiently the Austrian retreat was disordered and hasty.
LIEUT. G. W. COXELLY
20 Ohio DoiKjhhoijs in Italy
By Lieut. G. W. CONELLY
Things happened on the morning of November 13, 1918, while
the regiment was encamped on the Plains of Ipplis. It was immed-
iately after we had received the comforting news of the armistice
with Germany and the regiment had settled down to sort of "devil
may care" attitude toward life in general — the big job was over;
joy reigned supreme and whatever tasks to which we may next be
assigned would surely be of a lighter nature than our previous work
in helping Italy free her lands from the Austrian invader.
At one A. M. orders arrived directing our battalion (the 2nd),
under command of Major F. M. Scanland, to proceed at once to
Mestre, a town two miles from Venice. From that stopping off
place we were to continue our journey to Venice and from there to
Cattaro, the Adriatic port on the boundary line between Dalmatia
and Montenegro. We were ordered to leave at 6.00 A. M. via
motortrucks furnished by the Italian Military authorities. Those
five intervening midnight hours, between the receipt of orders and
the hour of departure, were ones of intense activity as may be
readily imagined. Ammunition and supplies were gathered from
the two remaining battalions as we were going in full war panoply
prepared for any eventuality. Everyone was in high spirits, for,
indeed, the war was over and even though we were not homeward
bound, were we not off on a personally conducted tour of Venice and
the far-famed Adriatic Sea? — sight-seeing at the expense of Uncle
Sam with native guides to point out the sights.
At 6.00 A. M. we were off. Amid the loud huzzahs and best
wishes of our remaining comrades we started back over the same
territory covered during the Vittorio-Veneto Offensive. The trip
was too long for comfort, but at the end of 20 hours we arrived
in the outskirts of Mestre. The night was cold and those quickly-
built fires were given a hearty welcome as every one "hugged in"
as close as they could. Here we remained until after daybreak.
Apparently the Italians had not expected us so soon as billets were
not prepared, but by noon we moved into quarters, although crowd-
ed, answered the purpose — the main thing was to get inside.
The one thing uppermost in the minds of almost everyone was
the question, "When do we sail?" The ship on which we were to
leave had not arrived, and so the 14th and 15th passed around
without anything eventful until the early evening of the 15th. The
schedule had been changed with a bang. Lieutenant Caucus, Ital-
ian officer attached to our battalion entered the room with the in-
formation that one platoon was to be sent to Fiume. At 7.45 P. M.
I was ordered to report to Major Scanland, and received the follow-
ing order: "You will have your platoon ready to leay.e here at 8.15
P. M. with full equipment, including three days' rations. You will
take a train to Venice and then board an Italian destroyer which
will take you to Fiume. There you will land and occupy the city".
Ohio Doughhoys in Italy
To add to the excitement caused by the sudden change of des-
tination, upon inquiry as to what conditions I might find there, I
was informed that we might have to force a landing or we might
be permitted to land peacefully. No one knew. But we were pre-
pared for either eventuality. The adventure of a platoon of Yan-
kees in a polyglot city that had been and still was a bone of conten-
tion between Slav and Magyar and Italian, lent zest to the new
turn of events.
Owing to wounds and illness, my platoon, the First of Com-
pany "G", was somewhat depleted and so we picked men from the
Third Platoon to fill up our ranks. Lieut. Arthur Childers, who had
commanded the Fourth Platoon, was placed second in command.
At 8.15 A. M., we were on way to the train which was to carry us
to Venice. As usual it was late — several hours late — and we were
compelled to wait around a cold station until it put in an appearance.
Platoon of Company "G". 332ncl Infantry, inarching down a street in Fiume.
While waiting for the train Platoon Serg. Caler, who had been
suffering from influenza, became very ill and he was sent to the
hospital where he remained over two months. Sergeant Bivenour
About one o'clock the troop train pulled into the station and a
platoon of half-frozen Yankees scrambled aboard. On arrival in
Venice we were transferred to a harbor tug v/hich carried us down
22 Ohio Dougliboys i7i Italy
the Grand Canal to the Itahan destroyer "Audace", anchored in the
Bay of Venice.
Our "personally conducted" tour of Venice that time was very
brief — we saw what we might while sailing down the Grand Canal
on a moonlight night. Even in the dimness of the moonlight it
seemed to be battle-scarred. Immense mounds of sand bags were
still in place to protect, so far as possible, the treasured architecture
of Venice. Perched on her thousand isles I thought, perhaps, she
had seen almost as much history in the past three years as in the
centuries from the time a band of inlanders settled there in order to
be free from the depredations of the original non-aquatic Hun. At
least she is now free from the peril of the present-clay follower of
the Hun. As we sped through the silent night scene, I recalled a
stanza in Byron's "Childe Harold."
"In Venice Tasso's echoes are no more
And silent rows the songless gondolier;
Her palaces are crumbling to the shore,
And Music meets not always now the ear;
Those days are gone — but beauty still is here.
States fall, arts fade — but Nature doth not die,
Nor yet forget how Venice once was dear,
The pleasant place of all festivity.
The revel of the earth, the magic of Italy."
There is probably more poetry than truth in these lines, but
during the War she had been mauled to a certain but not serious
extent. And, before many days have passed, Venice again will be
"the revel of the earth".
Out in the bay we boarded the destroyer and across the water
the moon cast the shadows of the Campanile and the Doge's Palace.
How many hob-nailed doughboys ever had the pleasure of a
trip on board a destroyer? How many Marines? I don't see many
hands up. I have heard of some fellows having a short trip on a
destroyer, after being rescued from a torpedoed ship, but we had
the unique experience of crossing the choppy Adriatic on a destroy-
er. We had heard much about the bobbing cork-like antics of a
destroyer; we learned more after leaving the shelter of the Island
of Lido. The Commander of the ship warned us that we would en-
counter rough weather; he turned out to be a good prophet. That
was some wild night ride. We just held out and waited for day-
light and the sight of land. Strange to say very few wTre sea-sick.
Shortly after daybreak we sighted land and were soon thread-
ing the mine fields. It was well for our peace of mind that we were
only partly aware of the danger that beset us on all sides. Fortu-
nately, the pilot hugged the shore and with the aid of his mine chart
carried us safely to the dock. We could plainly seethe Island of
Churso, the towns of Versura, Tourana, Velosco and Abbazia.
About ten o'clock we sighted the beautiful city of Fiume.
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 23
Looking through field glasses my heart gave a sudden thrill, I saw
"Old Glory" draped across the top of a magnificent building. I
knew that no Americans were ahead of us and I could hardly believe
that our recent enemies were actually welcoming us. However,
such was the case. Our worries about a possible hostile reception
had been groundless. An Italian officer informed me that my flag
was draped on the palace of the governor of Fiume, an Austrian.
The flag was a harbinger of the pleasant scenes to follow.
Passing through the harbor it was noticed that a number of
Italian warships had arrived ahead of us, carrying Italian soldiers.
They gave us a continued ovation — these men who had fought
with us from the Piave to the Tagliamentia. Our ship was warped
to the dock a few yards from the Italian flagship, the "Emrnuele
Filiberto". Later more Italian ships laden with soldiers arrived in
the harbor until it seemed that Italy had sent at l-rast one division
Around the "Filiberto," Fiume, Croatia, Nov. 17, 191S.
The news of our arrival spread like the proverbial wild fire,
and soon the dock was crowded with people who appeared to be
anxiously r.waiting our landing. They came laden with flowers,
mostly chrysanthemums, which they showered over us and the ship
in wild profusion. They welcomed us to their city and, I felt cer-
tain the welcome was from the heart. They bore not the slightest
tinge of ill-feeling toward the United States, and I wish that I
were able to convey in words the real greeting that we received
and the feeling of satisfaction such a greeting gave to us, but this
is one of those exceptional afi'airs of life that must be seen and
heard to be properly understood. We seemed more like troops be-
ing welcomed home than those about to occupy enemy territory.
2.'f Ohio 1)0110111)01)8 in Italy
Such hospitality must be appreciated by some token in word
or act, so I climbed to the bridge of the ship, and through an inter-
preter, told the people why we had come to Fiume and that we ap-
preciated their reception. In answer one of the citizens of Fiume,
who, I learned later, had been a colonel in the Austrian Army, in-
formed us that the Austrian people had never considered us an
enemy and had never wanted to fight against us. He also said:
"We knew our country was wrong in the beginning, but we have
a motto similar to yours, which is, 'My country right or wrong,
but my country'. That is why we fought, now we are happy it is
over. We welcome you to Fiume". That seemed almost too good
to be true as it was so different from what we feared.
A few minutes later I was called into conference with Italian
officers who were discussing the advisability of an immediate land-
ing. Some thought we should do so at once, but the majority, in-
cluding the Italian fleet commander, thought it would be better to
wait until the next day, and it was so ordered.
That conference brought more forcibly to my attention than
anything that ever happened before the force and intensity of the
age-long hatred between the Austrian and Italian. Just as bitter
on one side as on the other. We Americans were granted the free-
dom of the city. Literally and metaphorically it was ours. But
the Italians hesitated to make a landing even though a majority of
the inhabitants are of Italian extraction. The neighboring city of
Susac, separated from Plume by a small canal, was entirely Aus-
trian or Jug-Slav and opposed the landing of Italian troops. My
experiences on the Piave front and during the fighting across Vit-
torio-Veneto had failed to impress me with the pent-up racial ha-
tred as did the first day in Fiume. We also learned from dispatches
that a regiment of Serbians had attempted to enter the city from
the east, but were forced to retreat into the mountains. This inci-
dent did not in the least encourage the Italians to make any rash
adventures in the way of a precipitate landing. If ever there was
a game calling for "the fine Italian hand", diplomacy, tact or what-
ever name you wish to designate the delicate manipulations of those
who represented difi"erent nations, it was played right there in
At the conference just referred to it was decided to transfer
our men from the destroyer to the flagship "Emmanuele Filiberto"
to spend the night in better and more commodious quarters than
on the cramped destroyer. This was done at once. Later, she back-
ed out from the wharf into the harbor. While on board the "Fili-
berto", we were extended an exquisite courtesy that is possible only
to the Latin races. Lieut. Childers and myself were made the
guests of honor by the Admiral, while the warrant officers of the
ship prepared a regular feast for the men. I took a look into their
quarters and that was enough to convince me that they were well
taken care of.
That evening another conference was held and a number of
Czecho-Slav officers who had been forced into the Austrian Army
Ohio Doughboys in Italy
came aboard with the news that the Americans might land any
time they wished to do so, but there was much uncertainty about
the propriety of permitting the Italians to land. The Italian Ad-
miral was plainly annoyed and becoming more anxious every min-
ute. He was there to land his men but was afraid to do so. Not
that he didn't have sufficient guns and men to force a landing but
such a course was against his orders, probably — I never really
knew. So another conference for the morrow was decided upon
when the Czecho-Slav officers would m^ake another report.
Although being entertained like princes of the royal blood we
were "itching" to get ashore and see the "works go round", and
to show our allies that we could keep them going in the right direc-
tion, but we had to be patient and wait.
Shortly after daybreak of the 17th the water between the
"Filiberto" and shore was speckled with rowboats flower-laden for
the Americans. Everyone wanted to come aboard and personally
extend a welcome but only a very few were permitted.
Just before the Landing of the first American Troops at P'iume, Dec. 17, 191S.
Then cam.e the final conference aboard ship before the landing.
The Czecho-Slav officers reported and, as a result of what they
said, orders were issued that our one platoon of American soldiers
would land first, to be followed by one company of Italian Marines,
with other units to follow later. The zero hour, as it might be
termed, was set at 4.00 P. M., and we began preparations for going
ashore. Although by this time we were well convinced that our
landing would be more in the nature of a reception than a hostile
attitude, nevertheless, we were prepared for any emergency. Ev-
ery man was ready to fight if called upon to do so. During the day
26 Ohio Doughboys in Italy
more battleships arrived and our landing was to be covered by the
monster guns of these fighting fortresses.
Exactly at four bugle call sounded and the gunners leaped to
position, swinging their guns around and training them on the docks
and other vital parts of the city. It was a wonderful and beautiful
sight. Then over the side of the ship the platoon went into waiting
barges which rowed them to the docks. The only hostility shown
was between the natives themselves — they fought with each other
to be in the forefront of the welcome and to be sure their own indi-
vidual flowers were thrown on us or under our feet. The dock was
crowded and we were compelled to gently force them away so as
to provide space large enough to form into column of squads.
Then the march to the palace began. It was a triumphal par-
ade through crowds of cheering citizens who continued to pelt us
with flowers. American flags were conspicuous everywhere. As
we pushed the crowds back we were continually on the receiving end
of well-directed kisses from toothless old ladies and buxom damsels.
With every step we became more surprised at the sincere hospitali-
ty of our late enemies — it really came deep from their hearts and
we certainly appreciated it.
Upon arriving at the governor's palace the Italians joined us
and we went at once to his oflfice. He reluctantly turned over his
sabre and bid us adieu. Guards were placed and billets found in a
school a few yards from the palace.
During all this time the Stars and Stripes were draped across
the front of the palace. As this was the Italian Headquarters the
Italian colors were flying from the flag pole on top of the building,
but the way in which the Italian flag was immediately over ours
was far from satisfactory, consequently, the next morning, when
I saw that no change had been made in the flag arrangement I men-
tioned it to the Italian Commander. He apologized and said he
would take care of the matter. To our amazement, when we awoke
the following morning we found the Italian colors still waving
above the Stars and Stripes. Such seeming persistence in a dis-
courteous attitude annoyed me, so I went to Italian Headquarters,
voicing my complaint again. The old general was surprised that
we should have any particular objection to the arrangement. He
"Why, the British and French colors are not flying at ah."
I then explained to him that we would be satisfied if all Allied
flags were placed on the balcony below, where they would be on
the same level, and in that case we would have no objection to the
Italian colors flying alone at the top of the pole to denote their
headquarters. This the general agreed to do.
On the morning of the third day the flags had not been changed
much to our chagrin, and the ire of the Americans ,was aroused
almost to the breaking point. Just then Colonel EveVson and the
Third Battalion, which had traveled overland from Cormons, ar-
rived and the flag incident was turned over to him. After several
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 27
conversations with the Itahan Commander Colonel Everson suc-
ceeded in having the flags properly placed from our viewpoint.
The discourtesy, I am well convinced, was not intended as such ;
merely a misunderstanding of two different nationalities having
different ideas of the correct thing to do.
While the flag affair was progressing a battalion each of
French and British troops arrived in Fiume. While the hostility
shown toward the Italians seemed quite natural in view of the
accumulated hatred the two neighboring races had borne toward
each, we were slightly surprised to see that neither the French
nor British were anywhere near so well received as the Americans.
"Bmanuele Filiberto", on which 332d was Quartered before Landing in Fiuiue.
We remained with the 3rd Battalion for nearly a month. On
the afternoon of Dec. 14th, we received orders that the Italian de-
stroyer "Stocco" would sail for Cattaro at 4 o'clock the next morn-
We had been enjoying our life in Fiume and were reluctant to
leave. Our own battalion was stationed at Cattaro, and of course
we were to rejoin them at the earliest opportunity. So the next
morning we bade farewell to Fiume and sped down the east coast
of the Adriatic. I say sped because although the distance between
Fiume and Cattaro is almost four hundred miles we made the trip
in about twelve hours.
Colonel Everson accompanied us, leaving Capt. Austin Story
in command of the 3rd Battalion. The Colonel was to inspect the
troops in Cattaro and then return to Fiume.
Ohio Dounhhoi/s in Italy
The trip was a beautiful one, as we were always in sight of
land and winding down through those rocky islands. Some of the
larger islands are known as Veglia, Cherso, Orbe, Selvo, Brasso,
Lissa, Lesina, Curzola and Meledo.
The excitement of the trip came in the fact that we were sail-
ing through mine fields continuously. We had a chart of the fields
but that didn't always save the ship as the destroyer "Audace",
which carried us from Venice to Fiume, had her stern blown off
on the return trip over the same course we had traversed the night
We arrived at Cattaro just at dusk and did not attempt to re-
join our company, stationed in Telenika, until the next noon and of
course, the first procedure was the "swapping of stories."
I want to say of the men, during this detached service, that al-
though the war was over they were all that could be desired as sol-
diers and as gentlemen, they were perfect. They were a mighty
fine "bunch" of fellows.
Passing over the n.'iiairfd liiumi'. .MukiIh Kin.',
ltal\, XoviMnl)<,T 1st, litlS.
CAPT. J. McKINNEY
30 Ohio Doiighhoys in Italy
By Capt. J. McKiNis'EY.
After the armistice with Austria, November 4th, 1918, Battal-
ions of the 332nd Infantry were assigned to various stations — the
3rd Battalion to Fiume, Istria. Departing from Cormons, Istria,
by rail, the troops rode three days in what was one day a first-class
train but now only a junk pile with all the seats missing and with
such other "minor" defects. Our reception at Fiume was of a pe-
culiar nature. It appeared that all Fiume would have been very
glad to receive the Americans alone but as a brigade of Italian
troops arrived at the same time the spirit of the citizens of Fiume
was dampened. The town is divided Iby a river; the people on one
side were mostly Italian, on the other side mostly Croations. The
Croations were anxious to see that the Americans lacked for noth-
ing, especially in the way of amusements. There was a standing
invitation for American officers and soldiers to join their parties.
This spirit on the part of the Croations was of great value to the
morale of the troops since they had just recently conducted an of-
fensive campaign. So finally the differences were adjusted.
Upon our arrival, Companies I, K, L, and M, were each assign-
ed one floor of the University Building. The officers were quarter-
ed at places of more comfortable character, as the Rooming Houses,
Hotels and the like.
Captain Austin P. Story was in charge — a small m?n physical-
ly, but every inch a soldier, a man possessed of all the training
mentally and morally that is required of a good leader: a man of
Tactics along military lines.
About 2.30 A. M., November 23rd, two days after we arrived
there, the orderly from Battalion Headquarters called for the offic-
ers in com.mand of Companies K and M (K Company being com-
manded by Capt. Wilbur M. White and M Company being command-
ed by the writer) . We were ordered to report at once to the Com-
manding Officer, Capt. Story. He instructed Capt. White and me to
march across bridge into Susek, located just across a bridge, and
there to search for hidden Austrian soldiers and to protect all im-
portant roads leading to Fiume and Susek. Rushing to where my
Company was billeted, I gave orders for the Companv to form at
4.00 A. M.
A captain sent to us by the Italian Headquarters, brought or-
ders that a company of Itahan troops was to march on Susek with
us ; that both our men and theirs were to march single file, the com-
manding officers in the center of the street two abreast, the Italian
Officers on the left, the American Officers on the right. Captain
White took a different route with Company "K". The troops, form-
ed in the order as mentioned above, started to m- rch at Zero hour
Ohio Doughbotjs i)i Italy 31
(5.30 A. M.) November 23rd. Two armored Motor Trucks were
assigned to each unit and these led the way, gunners at their places
ready to defend the troops and prevent surprise. We reached Susek
about 8.30 A. M., after combing the country and all buildings en
route. At what had been a prominent school building we found
some Austrian teachers and professors. A guard commanded by
Lieutenant Hooper and Lieutenant Jones, consisting of two squads
from each platoon was designated to handle the situation. A brief
conversation through my interpreter informed me that several Aus-
trian soldiers were living in a school building near. Learning the
exact location I sent Sergeant Ray Kelly of Company "M" with
two squads to search all the surrounding buildings. He reported
back with four or five Austrian captives. The outpost reported to
me, as Senior Officer, that a Field Artillery Gun had been discov-
ered at a position overlooking the bay of Fiume. This gun was a
In front of School Building, Fiume.
6-inch in calibre and had evidently been concealed for the purpose
of protecting the Harbor of Fiume. A large Range Finder left
by retreating soldiers was also found concealed in a separate
I visited the Professor for a second conference and instructed
my Interpreter to remain with me and to pretend that he only un-
derstood French and Italian. After talking in both French and
Italian the professor asked if he spoke German, to which he replied
"No" (though perfect in speaking the German Language). I no-
ticed a peculiar expression on the face of the professor and at this
time three other apparently distinguished college men arrived.
The group talked German and as I watched my Interpreter I notic-
ed he nodded his head to me to indicate that he understood what
they were talking about. Departing from the room, giving for an
excuse that I v/ished to talk with the soldiers, I asked the Inter-
preter to tell me what they were saying. He said that a son of the
Professor, a student before the War, was concealed in the building
Ohio Doughboys in Italij S3
in the uniform of an Austrian soldier. Later we found him hiding
behind a large book case — a youth of about 17 years. This little
excitement was about all there was to our "invasion" of Susek.
After remaining in Susek until late in the evening and until
our rations were nearly all gone, I sent a message to the Battalion
Commander stating that our mission had been accomplished and
that relief by troops fully equipped was deemed advisable. About
10.00 P. M., Companies "I" and "L", being the remainder of the
troops stationed at Fiume, arrived and took up the position held by
"K" and "M" Company. Upon our return to Fiume the General in
command of the City issued orders that there be an Inter-Allied
patrol formed to march together on the streets, an American,
British, French, and Italian side by side.
My Company ("M") was permitted to hold dances in the Gym-
nasium of the school building. Field Kitchens and Garrison Ra-
Austrian Soldiers found hiding in Scliool Building, Fiume.
tions afforded relief after the Hard Tack used several days. The
conduct of the enlisted men was wonderful. Each took pride in his
own company. Never will enough credit be given the enlisted men
v/ho served in Italy, for they made the Regiment one of the most
famous of any Infantry unit of the A. E. F. I can truthfully say,
after serving twelve years in the U. S. Army, that the Non-Com-
missioned officers of my company were the most efficient of any
that I have ever met. This not only applying to my own Company
but likewise to the various other Companies as well.
Ohio Douglihoys in lialy 35
BY LIEUT. AUGUST F. RENDIGS, JK.
The Second Battalion of the 332nd Infantry arrived in the
harbor of Cattaro, on Thursday, November 28, 1918, after a de-
lightful and uneventful trip across the calm, blue Adriatic Sea.
The voyage from Venice required five days, so the S. S. "Argen-
tina", assigned to the Battalion for this particular voyage, could
not possibly be classified as an ocean greyhound, Venice — "en-
throned on her thousand isles" — is glorious ; Cattaro is a tiny port
with little else than the glory of her past, whatever that may be.
However, Cattaro is the most important port on the commer-
cially unimportant Dalmatian Coast. During its existence through
the centuries, Cattaro has seen a variety of rulers. Romans, By-
zantines, Bulgarians, Venetians, Bosnians, Turks, Austrians, Span-
ish, French, Serbians, Montenegrins, English and a few others have
had a try at running the place. They did one thing — gave it a
delightfully cosmopolitan character. Consequently we were greet-
ed by a mixture of nationalities found only in a petty Balkan State
or a great American City. Our steamer was warped to the pier
amid the blaring of a Serbian band and the wild huzzahs of the
Major Scanlon, Battalion Commander, immediately reported
to the Italian Land Commander in compliance with orders, but this
gentleman was seemingly very surprised, as he claimed to have had
no prior knowledge of our arrival, but he suggested that the Major
report to the Naval Commander. That official likewise was all "at
sea" and would give no orders ; he suggested that we remain aboard
ship pending the arrival of orders.
Our anxiety to learn the drift of developments was not long
deferred ; on the following morning orders were issued to Company
"F" to prepare at once for a trip into Montenegro; Cettinje, the
capital, being our assigned destination.
At 2 P. M,, November 22, we formed in line on the Cattaro
dock ; and marching through the little town, under command of
Captain Southworth, we slowly proceeded along a tortuous moun-
tain road. The grade was ever-ascending it seemed.
Later in the day we were pleased to meet our old friend Major
Allegretti, who is well remembered by every one on the "Sectora-
Americano" front on the Piave. He, with a command of Italian
troops, was on the way to Cettinje, and would accompany us.
About an hour after our departure. Major Scanlon was in-
formed by the senior Italian officer that an Italian force had been
Ohio ]>()U<ilih()us in Itdlij
prevented from entering Montenegro three days previous ; and had
been fired upon by the Montenegrins. The Italian Commander im-
parted the further information that he had given orders to go in
at any cost; and would overcome resistance by force if need be.
Participation in an adventure of this kind was not in our schedule,
so the Italian was informed that our force would take no part in
offensive operations against either Montenegrin faction.
We had been informed by Captain Southworth prior to depar-
ture for the mountain trip, of the delicate situation confronting
the small band of Americans. Italy was seeking control ; the Mon^
tenegrins were divided among themselves, but united against Italy.
Group of Italian and American Ofiiccrs — Left to Right: Capt. Vaiigh, Capt. Scanland,
Gen. Ferrari, Gen. Pecori Geraldi, Col. Tacoli. Col. Gregory, Capt. Vieth, Maj.
McGraw, and Lieut. Treves. Taken Sept. 7, 191S, in Camp near Vallegio.
The "City Party" was in favor of the new Jugo-Slav Kingdom,
whereas the "Country Party", consisting chiefly of peasants, want-
ed a republic. There was a possibility, the Captam added, that our
coming might not be welcome; the Montenegrins might express
their resentment in the form of machine gun and rifle bullets. In
the event of attack, we were not to fire without orders. Nobody
wanted to do any shooting and it was hoped it would get through
It was now apparent why Major Allegretti, the diplomat and
tactician, was along.
After joining the Italian forces we proceeded up, up famous
Mount Lovchen. This is the part of "Balkan Switzerland", which
Ohio Douglilxjys in liahj 31
was considered impregnable. But the Austrians captured it just
the same ; although it has been said that the Montenegrin King
might have put up a better defense; in other words he has been
rightfully or wrongly accused of being quite willing that Austria
should capture it.
The march up, up Mount Lovchen ! Who among those of Com-
pany "F" will ever forget it? Not one. It is burned — aye, liter-
ally frozen — in their memories. The night was dark and a cold,
stinging wind added neither joy nor comfort to the trip up the
winding mountain trail.
The packs were unusually heavy and necessarily so, although
wearisome to a degree seldom realized in marching because of the
poor road and ever-ascending grade. Full packs, two extra blan-
kets, additional ammunition and overcoat made a load of over 75
pounds. All this we carried while climbing Mount Lovchen on a
cold, windy winter night.
Every hour we were permitted ten-minute halts which gave
us a short breathing spell ; then on we went ever climbing that
mountain, the top of which it seemed would never be reached.
Many men were compelled to drop out from sheer exhaustion. By
the time the mountain top was reached a count revealed the fact
that nearly fifty men out of a total of 190 were behind straggling
to catch up with those who were fortunate to have the unusual
stamina to carry them along with the main body.
About eleven o'clock we arrived at Krystak, a little mountain
village at the very crest of Mount Lovchen. This diminutive moun-
tain village consisted of two houses and an Austrian built barrack.
The command to halt and turn in for the night was never more
welcome than it was that night after the long, zigzag climb laden
with an unusually heavy pack. We were soon fast asleep on the
The morning found us on the march again. This time down
hill, until the miniature village of Niegush was reached, and where
we were met by a party of Serbians. A parley ensued, as the
Serbs and Montenegrins opposed the entrance of Italian troops ;
seemingly they would welcome us alone, but our company they
keenly resented. Anyway, we were permitted to go along a little
We then started up another steep grade to the top of a second
mountain ; a five-hour gruelling march. Our noon-day chow was
eaten on the crest of the mountain, and during the afternoon we
descended to the village of Dubrovik, one mile from Cettinje.
Here we had another parley.
This time both civil and military officers informed our com-
mander that Americans were welcome, but not the Italians. Cettin-
je would open her gates and arms to us, but not to our companions.
As a result of this talk it was decided that Captain Southworth
with Lieutenant Speakman, as interpreter, would accompany the
local dignitaries to Cettinje, and there consult the higher nabobs.
After a delay that seemed unusually long, the two officers returned
^,s' Ohio Doughhoys in Italy
with a reiteration of the samb old story : Americans are welcome,
but not Italians.
That night a heavy snow fall made us fearful lest we might
be snow-bound. We were informed that during winter the roads
leading to Cattaro were often blocked for months — a cheering pros-
pect. That night we billeted in huts.
The next day found us all in Krystak, where we were billeted
in the fairly comfortable barracks, built by the Austrians during
their occupancy. As the snow had turned to a pouring rain, Cap-
tain Southworth deemed it advisable to return to Cattaro with all
possible speed. The Italians also desired to leave the vicinity of
Cettinje, where they were so unwelcome.
Austrian S. S. "Ferencez Ferdinand", used as Headqiiaiteis for the Amei'ican Forces
We returned through the mountains by a better route than
that on the outward trip. On November 31 we arrived at our
barracks in Teodo, where we remained during our stay in Dalma-
tia. Teodo is a short distance from Cattaro, on the water front.
Thanksgiving of '18 will be long remembered by every man at
Cattaro. Coffee without milk or sugar, mouldy bread, macaroni,
beef and rice, constituted the menu of that festive day. We long-
ingly thought of the fat turkeys, pumpkin pies, "an' everything
else" at home, but our sadness was sweetened by th<3 hope that the
shores of Dalmatia would soon be seen fading from our view as we
would homeward go.
Oliio Doughbofis in Itdhi 39
During the week that followed we engaged in close-order drill,
and took up a rather comprehensive guard-duty, which included
the little village ; and its docks, loaded with vast quantities of mu-
nitions, war materials, clothing, shoes and flour, landed from a
number of Austrian battleships that had been captured and were
interned in the harbor. We had been requested by the Allied Com-
mission, composed of officers of the American, French and British
navies, to furnish daily a large detail for work in unloading large
shells and other material from the Austrian vessels and in dis-
mantling and disarming them. This work was soon commenced
and in a short time the Austrian vessels were without the where-
withal aboard to sail or fight.
Christmas Day was a decided improvement over Thanksgiv-
ing. During the month the paymaster arrived with current and
back pay. Packages from home and the Red Cross certainly im-
proved the atmosphere of those barracks.
New Year's Day was very much like Christmas Day. In the
morning we played basket ball against the American jackies on the
destroyer *'Luce", and gave them a walloping to the score of 47 — 2.
In the afternoon we had inter-platoon games, which created great
competition and amusement between the various platoons. We
were fortunate in procuring a large, abandoned arsenal, which,
with a little labor, afforded a splendid site for basket ball. The
food on New Year's Day was a duplicate of that on Christmas.
In the evening we enjoyed a Smoker, and a lecture by Captain
Southworth, on the Balkan situation.
On the morning of January 6, at six-thirty, Capt. Southworth
left in a small Fiat roadster, accompanied by his chauffeur and an
interpreter. They took the shortest road over the mountains into
Montenegro. At Reveille we broke the news to the company as
gently as possible, that it was probable that we would follow short-
ly. None of us were enthusiastic about going, knowing from our
past experience the difficulties that we would encounter, and feeling
that the expedition this time should be put on the shoulders of one
of the other companies in the battalion. However, we were fairly
certain that we should go, so we made our preparations for an early
departure, all the while hoping and praying that the order would
not come. At eleven-five a courier arrived by automobile, with an
order from Major Scanlon, directing our Company Commander to
report with three platoons of the Company at Battalion Headquar-
ters at Cattaro not later than four-thirty P. M. of the same day.
We were to leave the remaining platoon, with Lieut Oberlin in
charge, at Teodo to carry on the work w^hich we had been engaged
in. We had a hasty dinner, packed our belongings, and moved out
with three platoons at one-forty P. M., leaving behind the one pla-
toon, as ordered. It was made up largely of cripples and weaklings
of the Company and those who were not likely to stand the gaff
.'/O Ohio Doughboys in Italy
After three hours of hard marching, we arrived in Cattaro and bil-
leted our men in the town, after which we reported to Battalion
headquarters to attend an Officers' Meeting which had been called
there at four-thirty.
Major Scanlon presided and explained in detail the situation
in Montenegro, and stated that the following day our three platoons
would again cross the mountains into that country. He told us
that there was heavy fighting going on between the Revolutionists
and the Government Forces ; that our mission would be to stop the
fighting as expeditiously as possible, and then to distribute eighty
thousand sacks of white flour which had just arrived from the
Chaplain Major Doiiglieity Presenting Flag from New York Sons of Italy to Co. "I",
Color Company, 332nd Regiment Infantry, October 7, 1918, near Trevisio.
United States on board a supply ship then anchored in the harbor.
The people in Montenegro were said to be starving, and it was hoped
that, coming as we did, to distribute the flour, our influence among
them would be powerful and that we would be enabled to stop the
fighting at an early date. The Major also explained the attitude
of the various governments having interests in the little country,
namely, Italy, Serbia and France, and pointed out that our own at-
titude was to be strictly neutral and that we should endeavor to
conduct the expedition so as to avoid casualties. That night we
officers slept with the officers of H. Company, and J;he men were
billeted in good buildings and slept on straw mattres'ses.
Tuesday morning, January 7th, after an early breakfast, we
Ohio Doughboys in Italy hi
loaded with our equipment two large army trucks which were to
accompany us, and started out at seven-thirty on our second expe-
dition into Montenegro. The start of this expedition, however, was
vastly different from that of the first one. This time we traveled
without packs, carrying only our side arms and rifles. The trucks
hauled the remainder of our equipment over the regular route
which we had traversed on our first trip, while, in single file, we
climbed a mountain pass. It was great fun at first — the novelty
of the thing — but finally it became very fatiguing, and the last
hour, especially, was sheer upward climbing. We arrived at the
top of Mount Lovchen after three hours of this strenuous exercise,
and proceeding through the pass proper, we were halted by a mes-
sage which Capt. Southworth had sent back, directing us to billet
at Krystak in the same Austrian barracks where we had spent sev-
eral nights during our first expedition. We followed these instruc-
tions, and that afternoon about four o'clock Capt. Southworth
joined us there, coming by auto from Cettinje, the machine carry-
ing a large white flag.
Capt. Southworth immediately sent a written communication
to Major Scanlon at Cattaro, and then recounted to us his exper-
iences from the time of leaving us at Teodo. He told us that there
was fighting outside Cettinje and in the surrounding mountains
between two parties, one of which was termed the "City Party",
which was the present Montenegrin Government committed to a
union with the Jugo-Slav state under Serbia, and the other called
the "Country Party", which included mostly the peasants from the
mountainous regions, who claimed that they wanted a republic.
The City Party were assisted, at least sub rosa, by the Serbians, and
had the upper hand at that time, having driven the Country Party
back into the fastnesses of the mountains, from where they were
having some difficulty in dislodging them. The former had rifles,
machine guns, and some small artillery, while the Country Party —
the real revolutionists — were poorly armed and organized, possess-
ing only rifles and hand grenades which they had gathered from the
stores abandoned in that vicinity by the Austrians in their flight.
Capt. Southworth's efforts up to that time had been directed toward
the cessation of hostilities, but to no avail. On his way into Cettinje
his party had been halted by the heavy firing, and a Montenegrin
woman from a hut nearby had quickly torn off her petticoat and
made a white flag of it, under the protection of which he proceeded.
They were fired upon again, however, and a bullet went through
the fender of the car, but fortunately no one was hurt.
It was decided that we should remain in Krystak for the night
at least, and we settled down accordingly. We were visited oy the
French General and his Staff, who directed \v^ to niove the follow-
ing day, into Niegush, a smafl town about three kilometers nearer
to Cettinje than our barracks at Krystak, and siluated on the main
highway. The night passed without incident, although frequent
bursts of machine gun and rifle fire and some occasional artillery
fire could be heard in the direction of Cettinje. At one P. M. the
next day we moved out in the direction of Niegush, where we arriv-
Ji2 Ohio D(/i(<jhboijs in Italy
ed forty-five minutes later and were soon established in fairly com-
That afternoon Capt. Soiithworth participated in three confer-
ences: the first one with the Serbian Major in command of the
town, Alexandrovitch, relative to the defense of the same in case
of an attack that night, which was expected from the City Party;
the next conference Capt. Southworth held with us, and it was de-
sided that, in case of an attack, the three platoons of the company
should take up certain positions under cover in three different
places, and that we should take no part in the fighting, since it was
not directed against us, unless it should develop in the nature of a
Major Scanlaiul. 2nd Batt.. 332nd Regiment Infantry, and his Adjutant, Lieut.
Hamilton, at Codroipo, Italy, Nov. 5. 1918.
general massacre of the civilian population, in which case we would
interfere to avoid pillaging; the third conference was held between
Capt. Southworth and the leaders of the Revolutionists, or Country
Party, who disclosed their program to Capt. Southworth and reit-
erated their demands and determination to keep on fighting until
they achieved their object. Their attitude was described by Capt
Southworth as uncompromising, and we all felt gloomy over the
prospects of a cessation of the fighting. That night we surrounded
our barracks with a fairly heavy guard, and all men were ordered
to sleep fully clothed.
The night passed without incident. Early in the morning of
the ninth we could make out, through our glasses, large parties of
Ohio Doiighboys in Italy 43
armed Montenegrins moving along the top of the surrounding
mountain ridges which enclosed Niegush, and it was thought that
these parties were about to attack the town. However, they even-
tually disappeared from view, and we waited to see what would
happen. In the afternoon I procured permission from Capt. South-
worth to take Corporal Chandler of my platoon with me for the
purpose of exploring the surrounding mountains and the passes
leading up to them. The Corporal and I went up to the top of the
nearest ridge, and discovered a band of revolutionists, numbering
about fifty, holding the pass. They were a most picturesque group,
ragged, wild-eyed, half starved, with long unkempt beards and
moustaches, and closely resembled a group of banditti. They were
friendly to us and expressed a desire to lay down their arms and
go back to their homes, but said that they were afraid to do so for
fear that they would be run down and put to death by the Govern-
ment Forces. They plead with us to remain there with them, but
we paid no heed to their urgings. They were then courteous enough
to send one of their number back with us for safe conduct. That
night I went on as Officer of the Day, and we again took elaborate
precautions against an attack on the town by the City Party. The
night again passed without incident, although some desultory ar-
tillery and machine gun firing could be heard in the mountains.
On January 10th, the next day, our labors began to bear fruit.
About two hundred revolutionists came in and surrendered their
arms to us, and each one received a safeguard from the Serbian
Major, Alexanclrovitch. An incident to their surrender occurred,
which is worth relating. It had been arranged that they would
surrender their arms to us at one o'clock in the afternoon, on a
small plain near Niegush. At the appointed time the Revolution-
ists began to appear from different parts of the mountains, and
gathered at one side of the plain. A small detachment of the Gov-
ernment Forces suddenly appeared on the opposite side of the plain.
Capt. Southworth, Lieut. Speakman and squad of Americans were
standing in the center of the plain, ready to receive the Revolution-
ists' arms. The Revolutionists, seeing the Government Forces on
the opposite side of the plain, became excited, and one of them
fired a rifle. Immediately both forces flung themselves to the
earth in skirmish line, and an interchange of shots ensued, with
the Americans in between the opposing lines. Capt. Southworth
with rare presence of mind, held up his hand with a commanding
gesture, and after about twenty shots had been fired by the two
sides, the firing ceased as suddenly as it began. Officers from both
sides immediately ran forward and off'ered their apologies and re-
grets to Capt. Southworth and the Americans for this untoward
incident. Fortunately there were no casualties, but if there had
been, it would have taken something more than apologies or regrets
to have squared things.
As soon as the Revolutionists were disarmed they were sent
down under guard to Cattaro, to be put to work unloading the flour
off of the U. S. Supply Ship "Western Plains", which had anchored
Ji-'i Ohio DoiKjhhoi/s in Italy
there with white flour on board for the rehef of the starving Mon-
The next morning, the eleventh, there appeared on the sky line
of the mountains in the rear of us a great many Montenegrins of
the City Party, all armed and with the evident intent of advancing
upon the little town. This caused a great deal of excitement in
Niegush among the Country Party and inhabitants and many came
into the enclosed area occupied by our troops seeking the protection
of the American flag floating overhead, while others gathered in
groups in the main street. Down the mountains came the Monten-
egrins in single file, chanting their war songs. We ordered our
Americans Posting- Guard on Northeastern Hill of Fiume, Nov. 27. 191S.
men to get under arms, remain in their billets and await orders.
The Serbian Major, Capt. South worth and the town Mayor, hasten-
ed out to meet the oncoming "City Party", who were advancing
swiftly but cautiously in our direction. They halted at our first
outpost line and, after some parleying, Capt. Southworth induced
them to give up their intention of occupying the town and to billet
in two small barracks just outside the confines of the little village.
This they agreed to do, and one of our officers, with a squad of men,
escorted them to these billets and distributed several boxes of our
American "hard tack" among them. We then put ^out another
strong outpost between these newcomers and the town, and trusted
to luck that everything would remain calm.
Ohio Doughdoys in Italy 45
January 12th proved to be a calm day. The officer attached to
our regiment, for the purpose of taking moving pictures, visited us
and took pictures of our company, the Montenegrin and Serbian
companies, our group of officers, the villagers dancing the "Kola",
etc. This dance, which is the native Slav dance, is very popular in
the Balkans. The participants join hands and form a circle, and
the dance itself takes on the form of our old quadrille, or rather,
our Schottisch. Late that afternoon I started to Cattaro on an
army truck with a corporal, our intentions being to bring back some
articles of apparel from the Officers' Baggage, which we had been
informed had just arrived. On our way we were delayed for half
an hour by the explosion of a large magazine full of high explosive
.shells and ammunition, which suddenly blew up in the neighborhood
of Krystak. This caused a great deal of excitement, but no loss of
life, and was said to have been the act of the Revolutionists. We
reached Cattaro in time for supper and spent the night there with
the officers and men of Company H. Next morning, in company
with two naval officers and our Regimental Personnel Officer, we
returned with the desired baggage to Niegush Nothing new de-
veloped during the day except that we heard from the French Gen-
eral that our company would shortly leave for Cettinje to occupy
that much-beleagured city for a short period.
The following morning Lieuts. Craig and Speakman went to
Cettinje by automobile to inspect the billets that had been set apart
for us there, and, returning in the afternoon, reported that the bil-
lets had been thoroughly disinfected and were now ready for occu-
pancy. On the fifteenth a ration truck from Cattaro arrived at
eleven in the morning, carrying our rations and bringing orders
from the French General, directing us to move into Cettinje at once.
Our departure took place at one o'clock that afternoon, the men
carrying only a light pack containing their overcoats. The first
squad from my platoon was left behind in Niegush, in charge of a
sergeant for police purposes. We managed to procure one other
truck in addition to the ration truck, and with these transported the
greater part of our baggage. We decided not to march on the road,
but struck out through the mountains along a rocky trail. It was
steep, but picturesque, and we thoroughly enjoyed our trip, which
we made in a leisurely manner.
At 3.30 we reached the outskirts of Cettinje, where we were
joined by Capt. Southworth, who had gone ahead by automobile.
At this point a short stop was made to permit the men to don their
overcoats so as to hide the ragged condition of our uniforms. After
readjusting our light packs and seeing that everything was condu-
cive to a favorable appearance and impression, we started into the
town. The Montenegrin military authorities, who had been ap-
prised of our coming, sent out a brass band to meet us, and we pur-
sued our march into the town, led by this band and with the Amer-
ican colors at our head. The flag was carried by a picturesque Mon-
tenegrin old man, who made a grotesque attempt to keep in step
with the music and our troops. I believe I am justified in saying
that it was the proudest moment of his lifetime.
Ohio DoiKjhhoi/s in Italy
The town turned out en masse ivnd lined the streets and side-
walks to cheer us. As we reached Montenegrin Military headquar-
ters we were halted, and the band struck up "America", which they
mistook for our national anthem. In order to tactfully cover up the
mistake, our company presented arms, and at the conclusion of the
anthem the people cheered us wildly in true Jugo-Slav fashion. We
resumed our march through the city to our billets, and upon arrival
there the Company of Montenegrins which had accompanied us as
a guard of honor, was drawn up in company front, facing our own
Major William G. Everson firing rifle from firing step in l^'ront Line,
Headquarters, on Piave Front near Varago, Sept. 30, 1918.
troops. We were then welcomed in English by a Serbian officer,
representing the Serb military authorities, and by a certain Mon-
tenegrin Major, representing the Montenegrin military. Our cap-
tain responded in behalf of the Americans, and at the conclusion of
his remarks the band again rendered "America" followed by the
Jugo-Slav national anthem, after which our officers shook hands
all around, and we were permitted to enter our billets. These were
comfortable enough since we were lodged in two large two-and-a-
half story stucco houses of modern American design, both of them,
to our delight, equipped with electric light and steam heat. Since,
however, for some reason or other, there was no electricity in the
town at night, our electrics did us no good ; and since we were with-
out fuel to keep our furnace going, we receivet* no bervafit from the
latter, so that both of our modern improvements were dismal fail-
ures. However, we managed to rig up some old-fashioned stoves
Ohio Doiighhoi/s in Italy 47
for all of the rooms which we used, and thus made ourselves fairly
The next few days we spent in getting acquainted with Cettinje
and were surprised by a short visit from Col. Wallace. The most
interesting thing in Cettinje we found to be an extraordinary relief
map of the entire country and a few adjacent provinces, which had
been built during the war by Italian prisoners under Austrian di-
rection, occupying two years in building. It was a wonderful crea-
tion about twenty-five feet square, and showed the different moun-
tain elevations, roads, bodies of water and the towns with their
little clusters of houses. Among the other interesting things was
an ancient stone monastery in the chapel of which was a casket,
said to contain the body of the grandfather of the present King of
Serbia. The King's palace and the Crown Prince's palace were also
of interest to us as were the numerous Legations which had been
maintained by the different countries in the little capital before
the war. The inhabitants were also erecting a large monument to
the memory of the soldiers of the Government who had fallen dur-
ing the revolution which we had just assisted in putting down.
This was a striking instance of the promptness of the Montenegrins
in honoring their soldier dead.
There were numerous liquor and coffee shops where, for con-
siderable outlay, one could procure fairly good coffee and some ex-
cellent cake, which was a treat for us. It was a typical capital of a
little Balkan country, torn with revolution but with a certain quiet
dignity withal. In the late afternoon the better class of civilian
would promenade, the men carrying their walking sticks and the
women wearing their lorgnettes.
On the 20th Lieuts. Speakman and Craig and I, journeyed to
Rjecka by machine. We found this little town located a number of
miles nearer the heart of the Balkans on the other side of Cettinje,
and consequently inhabited by many other nationalities, contribut-
ing to its picturesqueness.
During the following v/eek a number of funerals were held in
Cettinje of officers and men of the Government forces who died as
the result of wounds received in the revolution. These were very
ceremonious occasions and were always of a military nature. Our
officers took turns in attending them, as the official representatives
of the United States. At this time, too, we were blessed with the
arrival in Cettinje of three American Red Cross nurses, who were
the advance agents for a number who were to follow. They v/ere
working under the auspices of the American Red Cross Food &
Sanitation Ccmmission For The Balkans, and they stayed for only
a week, to our regret. We enjoyed a number of impromptu card
parties with them, and they were equally as gracious to our men.
On the 22nd our Officers attended a Tea given by M. and Mile.
Mittanovitch, in cur honor. Our host and hostess were the most
prominent civilians in town, M. Mittanovitch being the leading at-
torney. It was an interesting gathering of about thirty, including
several richly gowned women who were introduced to us as the
wives of the ex-ministers in the Cabinet of the former King. There
^8 Ohio DoKiiTiboj/s in Italy
were also several gorgeously attired Serbian and Montenegrin offic-
ers, and we enjoyed the singular experience.
On the 24th, the National Commission of Montenegro tendered
a luncheon to all of the Allied Officers in Cettinje. We, of course,
attended, as did also our Red Cross nurses. This was a very large
and elaborate affair, with much formality in evidence. There were
about fifty present, including the brother of the former Queen and
the "Metropolitan" — the highest prelate of the Greek Catholic
Church for that district. The Queen's brother was attired in mag-
nificent native costume, with large sparkling rings on each of his
fingers. From his conversation and general actions, he impressed
Crossing the Piave River near
Grave de Papadopoli
Oct. 31, 191S.
Italy, on a Pontoon Bridge,
US as a great booby, and this impression was borne out by his repu-
tation. Ten elaborate courses were served, including three different
kinds of meat, and champagne and wine flowed in abundance. At
the conclusion of the meal proper there was the usual exchange of
toasts on behalf of each of the different nations, after which we
made our adieus. The whole affair had lasted some two hours, and
we were surfeited with the food which we had received. We could
not help but remark that there seemed to be food in the country
for those who had access to it, although the common people, as we
had seen them, were starving.
Late that afternoon we received word that there were four
revolutionary officers hiding in the mountains nearby, who desired
Ohio Doughhoys in Ittih/ ^9
to come in under the protection of the Americans and give them-
selves up. We sent word back by their messenger that they should
come to the edge of the town and notify us. A ripple of excitement
was caused the following morning by the execution of a deputy
sheriff who had proved himself a traitor. He was taken to the edge
of the town and made to dig his own grave, at the conclusion of
which he stood with his back to the same at the foot of it. A volley
of rifle shots tumbled him into place, and he was soon covered with
Shortly after the noon meal word was brought in that the four
revolutionary officers were at the edge of the town. I volunteered
to get them and took a squad of men with me. We went to the
edge of the town about two miles away, and, climbing up over the
rocks found our Montenegrin revolutionists. They were one cap-
tain and three lieutenants. We disarmed them, brought them back
under the protection of our fixed bayonets, fed them, and turned
them over to the Montenegrin authorities. That night we four
officers cut cards for choice of their revolvers. I drew the Queen
of Hearts, so the first choice was mine.
The following day, January 26th, happened to be my birthday.
Shortly after dinner we received secret orders to move back to
Teodo as soon as possible. I left at once with the wagon train and
a half platoon of men, starting from Cettinje at 3.30 in the after-
noon. We had gone about an hour and were just entering the
mountains when a snow-storm came up, which made the roads al-
most impassable. We struggled on for four hours through ice and
snow, sometimes up to the hubs of our wheels, and in places were
obliged to stop every hundred yards to regain our strength and to
afford our mules some much-needed rest. After traversing the
perilous mountain passes safely, we finally reached Niegush at 8.15
that evening, where we stopped. We were soaked through from
our experience, but I had sent word ahead of our coming and the
squad there had a warm supper prepared for us, which we supple-
mented with some of the native white whiskey as a preventive
against the "flu".
We spent the night there, and the next morning at 7.30 started
for Teodo, where we arrived without further incident shortly after
noon. At five P. M. the same day, our company in charge of Lieuts.
Craig and Speakman, came in. They had left Cettinje that morn-
ing at seven o'clock and had marched the twenty-three miles
through the snow-covered mountain passes and over the roads,
with only a short stop at Niegush for dinner. They were completely
worn out but glad to be back, and we welcomed with satisfaction
a number of improvements which had been made in our billets at
Teodo during our absence, including the installation of electric
lights, which were operated by means of our own plant.
On January 30th, Capt. Southworth left us, in response to or-
ders assigning him to the command of the Third Battalion, which
was then stationed at Fiume. A few days later he received his pro-
5n Ohio Doughboys in Italy
motion to Major. This left Lieut. Craig in command of our com-
On February 1st we put on an amateur show in an improvised
theatre in our barracks. Two performances were given by local
talent. The drama was called "The Cudgel of Doom" and was writ-
ten by Lieut. Speakman ; it was very well received. The days that
followed we spent in drilling in the mornings and in hiking and en-
gaging in athletics in the afternoons. As Athletic Officer of the
Company, I organized inter-platoon basket ball teams, and developed
both a first and second company team. We organized an inter-
platoon league and created a good deal of competition and interest
among the platoons with our games, two of which we played each
Private Ira J. Moll. Co. "F", 2nd Batt.,
332nd Infantry. First American soldier
to be Wounded by Shell Fire in Italy. -
He was wounded Oct. 2. 1918. ^
.MA.JOII C'OXSTAXT S( >rTl IWOKTH
52 _ Ohio Doughboys in Italy
American Soldiers in Tzrnagora (Montenegro)
By Major Constant Southworth.
As two accounts have already appeared in this inter-
esting series upon the curious adventures of Company "F",
332nd Infantry, in Montenegro, thei'e w^ill be no attempt on
my part to go over the ground already covered, but I will
give a brief account of certain related historical events. —
King Nicholas' long reign in his little country of Montenegro
had been quite progressive for a near-eastern monarch. He had
allied himself by marriage of his numerous children to the royal
On a mountain trail in Montenegro.
houses of Italy, Serbia and Russia, and to the nobility of Germany.
He had played Italy, Austria and Russia against one another, to
the advantage of himself and his kingdom. After the second
Balkan war he had acquired some additional territory on the
southeast. And early in this century he granted his people a con-
But during the World War the king showed some signs of
favoring Austria, and it is said that while he was with his daugh-
ter, the Queen of Italy, one of his sons appeared in Cettinje, the
capital, during the Austrian occupation, and showed himself a
strong partisan of the Austrians. Whether or not-'the king was
at his old game of playing both sides against the middle, it is cer-
tain that he became unpopular with his people.
Ohio Douc/hboys in lUiIii 53
After the Austrians had been driven out, the mass of the
Montenegrin people, because of the fact that they are Serbian by
race and tongue, were in favor of joining the new Serbian Jugo
Slav State. So on November 24, 1918, (November 11, 1918, old
style, the native reckoning) at a convention in Podgoritza this
union was decided on and a committee of five chosen as interim
governors of Montenegro.
These committeemen bore the picturesque names of Steve
Voukotich, Marko Dakovitch, Spasye Piletich, Lazar Damyano-
vitch and Risto Yojitch.
On the eve of this convention the Italian Commander at
Cattaro gave to Major F. M. Scanland, who had just arrived with
the 2nd Battalion of the 332nd Infantry, the remarkbale order to
send one Company up the mountain to join the Italian battalion
under Major Guadeloupe and to proceed to Cettinje "at all costs".
This led to the first expendition into Montenegro, and the most
exhausting night march up the majestic Lovcen, and through the
pass of Krstac. Later on this trip, the Company was billeted two
nights at Dubovic, in wretched native houses without chimneys
Detachment of men of Company "F"' on Cattaro-Cettinje road
First Montenegrin Expedition.
and some without windows. It was with difficulty that even the
insufficient iron rations of the Italians were procured for the men,
and the margin was quite unsafe, in view of the distance from our
base and of the falling snow, a serious thing in the mountains at
It has been already related how, when the Italian advance ha^
been held up, I went on to the capital with Lt. H. S. Speakman.
and ascertained, as I had suspected, that the American detachment
was being used as a shield for Italian penetration. Returning to
the column I persuaded Major Guadeloupe to retire to the top of.
the pass and await further instructions. Perhaps he consented
the more readily as the rocks and mountains along the Cettinje
road were swarming with irregulars all armed. They were par-
ticularly incensed against Major Guadeloupe because, but three
o^ OJiio Doughboys in Italy
days before, he had promised to withdraw the Italians. It should
be said, however, that the Major was ordered back and so had no
Meantime this is what had happened at battalion headquar-
ters : The day after Company "F" had left on its perilous mission,
Major Scanland, chancing to be on board an Italian warship in the
harbor, learned by accident that a wireless message had been re-
ceived the night before from the Italian General that the entrance
into Montenegro should not be forced. Much surprised at this
Corp. Bradley giving food to Montenegrin cliildren.
because the orders given him had been just the contrary, Major
Scanland sought the Italian Lieutenant Colonel at Cattaro (the
ranking officer at the place) and asked about the dispatch. The
Lieutenant Colonel said he had not received it. Major Scanland
had been much worried over the mission on which we were engag-
ed, and forthwith told the Lieutenant Colonel in English (proba-
bly not translated) just what kind of a he was. There-
upon the good Lieutenant Colonel scratched his head and at last
recalled that he had received the dispatch. And yet our column
had been allowed to proceed under orders that might easily have
produced a collision fraught with grave international consequen-
Our next orders recalled the Company to Cattaro. After a
few days at Dobrotta, we were moved to Teodo, some 18 kilometers
by road from Cattaro.
While, as I have said, a majority of the Montenegrins were
in favor of the de facto government, headed by the Committee of
five, there were many loyal supporters of the old King. And in
the two factions the preponderance of the younger men in the de
facto government was both marked and significant. Of the roy-
Ohio Doughhoys in Italy 55
alist districts, none was more pronounced than the valley of
Njegusi through which the Cattaro-Cettinje road ran. And early
in January, 1919, a "revolution" broke out, and the pass of Buko-
vica was seized by the insurgents who for eight days cut off all
through communication to the capitol, except for General Venel
(French) now commanding in that area and the writer. But these
trips through the lines is another story.
On General Venel's orders. Company "F" made the second
expedition into Montenegro as part of an inter-allied intervention.
The story of this second trip has already been told. So I pass its
picturesque and exciting details, as well as the curious chance that
Montenegrin chief in native costume
near the Pass of Bukovica.
brought into my hands confirmation of the oft repeated charge that
the insurgent chiefs were in direct communication with the Italian
headquarters at Cattaro. But I can say that our efforts to check
further bloodshed were eventually crowned with success. The
only serious threat I made to use force was in order to protect the
non-combatants in the valley of Njegusi from a fight with, or pil-
lage by, the successful de facto government troops, and here again
I was successful.
So in due time with the country now quiet, we marched into
Cettinje and were given a hearty reception. Here we stayed two
weeks, quarantined in the buildings of the former German Embas-
sy. This little capital is quite picturesque and contains some really
modern buildings. Finally, on January 28, 1919, the Company re-
turned to Teodo under 1st Lieut. S. A. Craig — who shortly was
to receive a well deserved promotion and the command of the Com-
•''»' Ohio Doughhojis in Italy
pany we both thought so much of. I cannot praise too much the
conduct of the officers and men of Company "F" on these expedi-
tions, as indeed on all other occasions. But on the Montenegrin
excursions it was due to the tact, coolness and self restraint of men
and officers that nothing untoward occurred and that we earned
the good will of both factions. This was a real triumph, as the
natives are, by nature, somewhat suspicious and feeling ran high
at that time.
I would like to commend the men by name, especially those
who aided so efficiently on outpost work and in negotiations, but
to mention less than all might seem invidious. The entire com-
pany also owes a debt to many who did less conspicuous service:
the cooks who made the best of the issued rations, scanty even
w^hen reinforced with supplies bought with the company fund,
those who operated our efficient cobbler shop and tailor shop, those
who installed the electric lighting plant at the Teodo barracks.
Part of Montenegrin 'Army" which ixvulttd iu JaiuK,i,>. L.iiy.
those in the mechanical and other details, those who supervised
the company entertainments, and last but not least the mule skin-
ners ! Nor should I omit the efficient corps of souvenir hunters !
A further hint that may explain some of the troubles in Mon-
tenegro during the months I have mentioned, may be found in the
Literary Digest of January 22, 1921. In speaking of the criticism
in Italy of the treaty of Rapallo, whereby Montenegro was con-
ceded by Italy to the Jugo Slavs the article adds :
"This provision, it is reported, caused a violent scene in the
Italian royal famihj, for Queen Helene opposed the abandonment
of her father. King Nicholas of Montenegro,"
We may further add that the aged king died in Paris early
this year, never having returned to his country since he fled at the
invasion of Von Mackensen. ,
The Montenegrins are a proud and independent people, typical
mountaineers, with customs and ways of thinking that are centu-
Ohio Doii</]tbo)/s in Itdhi 57
ries old. They are justly proud of their independence, for they
alone of the Serbian race (save only the little city-state of
Ragussa) never submitted to Turk or Austrian, though fighting
intermittently over 400 years. The true Montenegrin loves war
and hunting; but disdains labor, most of the latter being perform-
ed by women. I have seen a woman kiss the hand of a man on
greeting him, and I have seen a man leisurely guiding up the pass
a string of women bent almost double with their loads. The tribal
system still exists in Montenegro, with the attendant blood feuds
of a primitive people.
The following incident may illustrate much that has been said
and written of this proud and picturesque race. At a critical point
at the time of negotiations for the surrender by the insurgents of
their "army" to us, a grizzled Montenegrin major appeared on the
upper reaches of the Lovcen with a large detachment of the de
facto government troops. A fight threatened and a few shots were
fired, but at my request he obligingly held back his men until I
Group of Montenegrin children near an American outpost.
could arrange to send the insurgents to Cattaro ; and thus practi-
cally ended the "revolution". This same major later welcomed our
troops as we marched into Cettinje; and there we met often and
he was most friendly and courteous. About that time this story
was told me of this major. During the first of the fighting around
Cettinje when the City was blockaded (and about the time of my
two trips above referred to, through the opposing forms in an
endeavor to fimd some basis on which to negotiate and of which
others have v/ritten) there came a lull in the battle. This major
seized the opportunity to send out a white flag and request a con-
ference with a certain insurgent leader whom he had recognized.
In response to the invitation the insurgent came into the major's
lines, and was brought to his headquarters. Here the major offer-
ed him tobacco, and while the visitor was rolling a cigarette, the
major shot him through the head !
And with this little tale, we bid thee fare-well, Tzrnagora,
Black Mountain !
COLO.XEL willia:\i graham everson
Ohio DoiKjliboys in Italy 59
niie Second Battalion
By Bruce Macfarlane
September 5, 1918, Major Wm. G. Everson was ordered to
report to the Headquarters, 3rd Italian Army, for instruction, and
to inspect a line of trenches on the Piave Front. It was decided
that the 2nd Battalion, 332nd Infantry, be assigned a position on
this front as a part of the "Brigata Veneto" — a Brigade com-
posed quite largely of Italian soldiers from Venice and surround-
The Battalion, composed of Companies E, F, G and H, and
detachments of the Supply, Machine Gun and Headquarters
Companies, arrived at Treviso, just north of Venice, at midnight,
September 9 — 10. The Commanding General of the 3rd Army
inspected the troops and pronounced them ready for immediate
service. September 13th brought a bunch of visitors, including
Duke D'Aosta and several Generals. We store all excess equip-
ment and will move forward in the morning.
Pursuant to orders from Brigadier General De Maria, Com-
manding "Brigata Veneto," we take over the town of Varago,
about two miles back of our sector. We have made various visits
to the Piave Sector, but now we are a part of the organization
that will soon open fire on the Austrians. Our kitchens are
established at Varago and this town becomes our Base. No
soldiers could ask a more enthusiastic welcome than that ex-
tended by the Italians. The King and Staff called. Every
General in that section sent letters of welcome. Brigadier Gen-
eral DeMaria wrote, "You are received as brothers by the
soldiers of 'Brigata Veneto,' who are fighting for the same ideals
for which you have crossed the Ocean," Major General
DeAngelis wrote, "You will be the brothers of the winners of
the Piave. I want to assign you the defence of the sector, where
the first day of the battle the brave soldiers of the Veneto Bri-
gade, with a brilliant counter-attack, crushed the waves of the
enemy — marching to Salettuol. This sector is the vital sector
of my Division. I want them to charge the American brothers
with its defence, as a token of my personal appreciation," and
Lieutenant General Paulini wrote, "The 11th Army Corps bids
you, through me, its hearty welcome, sealing a promise worthy
of you ; to proceed before long on the road of victory which has
been marked by the graves of our dead heroes, and further
beyond, till we shall have reached the confines of just liberty
for which we have joined our efforts."
To all these messages. Major Everson answered in behalf of
the United States troops — the spirit of his answer is shown in this
letter to General Paolini. "1. In behalf of the officers and
soldiers of the 2nd Bn. 332nd Inf. U. S. A., I thank you for your
kind message of welcome to the first lines of the 11th Army
60 Ohio Dou(jhhoi/.s in Italy
Corps. It thrills us with pride to be welcomed by the heroic
victors of the Piave, and with all our hearts we thank you.
"2. Men die, but their influence goes on forever. Out of the
graves of the brave soldiers who have died for noble ideals will
come the inspiration and encouragement for the march way
beyond the lines of other days. Out of the awful sacrifice,
suffering and death there must soon come a mighty victory — a
lasting triumph for justice and liberty. Well may men be proud
to live for, or, if need be, die for, the sacred rights of humanity.
''3. The enemy never dreamed that the United States would
send soldiers to Italy, but we are here. We are here to give our
best, our lives if need be — not for gold nor land, but that all
peoples may enjoy the blessings of justice and liberty. We strike
hands with the officers and soldiers of Italy — we have become
coml-ades and brothers. Long after the war has closed, we shall
cherish the memories of these new friendships.
"4. We wish to serve and sacrifice with you and to have
some part in hastening the day of a lasting peace."
The American Sector extended for little over a mile along
the Piave River, with its right resting at Salettuol and including
the main road that connected Venice. The river is very treach-
erous and this plays a vital part in the defence of the sector,
eliminating the necessity for a lot of entanglements. The Aus-
trian lines are on the other side of the river — they have out-
posts on some islands and we have our machine gun emplace-
ments to cover and control every island. The three lines of
trenches are arranged along the three dykes that were built to
take care of the overflow when the mountain snow melted during
the early Spring. Rations are supplied by the Italians and are
much better than that furnished Italian soldiers. Our sector is
quite a drawing card for all kinds of Generals, newspaper men,
etc., etc. In fact, we are still in the game of propaganda and
Italian officers and soldiers are brought here to get a little extra
"pep." Mr. Gompers and his delegation of Labor representa-
tives gave us the "once over" and gave us a few remarks that
might have cost him his "block." In his enthusiasm he wanted
to climb right out on top "and see the wheels go around." We
blow up a lot of ammunition and the Austrians say "good morn-
ing" and a lot of other things. We manipulate our searchlights,
burn up a few observation balloons, etc., just to keep from
getting homesick. Guess they think we are a wild bunch as a
cautionary message came from the C. G. of Base 8 that we be
very careful not to "start anything." The Austrians shower us
with literature — such as this sample :
"About fifteen days ago the Austrian Government made to
the Allied Powers a fair and just peace proposal. They, as
usual, have refused it. We want you soldiers to know that our
people are ready to talk honorable peace conditi-^ns and any
further denial on the part of your Governments will bring a
full destruction of vour soil.
Ohio Douglihoys in Italij 61
"If we are compelled to retreat, behind us you shall find
fire and destruction — nothing will be saved from our just revenge
to your aim of suppression and crushing our Nation.
"Soldiers of Italy, take our advice, lay down your arms for
your own and your Country's interest and benefit."
On the 15th, we are given instructions as to the part we
were to play in the crossing of the Piave and the proposed
advance. The remaining Battalions of the 332nd were to be
assigned positions with Italian troops on our right and left. The
2nd Battalion was to start the "party" and to smash through the
lines and then to be supported by troops from our right. It
looked like a glorious slaughter and the implication was that
the Major was to be left behind to supervise some S. O. S. work.
Major Everson is a preacher in civil life and was never known
to utter an oath, but on this occasion he said: "This is the first
time that I ever really wanted to swear," and one of the officers
spoke up and said, "I'll do it for you — stay behind." "Like hell
I will." Then the Italians are suddenly pulled out of the lines
and the British come down from the mountains. We are sur-
prised on October 15th, with orders that we are to be relieved
and are to rejoin the Regiment as soon thereafter as possible.
Well, we rejoin the Regiment at Treviso on the 16th, and
find them all excited about the prospects of a "Big Drive." The
next few days are put in with long marches — both for the hard-
ening of our own troops and for the effect on the Italian soldiers.
Just at this time Major Everson is promoted and assigned as
Lieutenant-Colonel of the 332nd Infantry and Major Frank M.
Scanland, Regimental Adjutant, is promoted and assigned to
Second Battalion. At last the orders come and the Regiment
moves out for Varago and we feel that we are on our way to
The "Sectore Americano" has suddenly become the livest
spot on the Italian front and the little town of Salettuol is the
crossing place for the British, Italians and Americans. We push
on fromj October 28th, and march through the old sector and
cross the Piave at the very spot where Lieutenant "Dug"
Meldrum waded the river in gathering information just a few
days before. The Austrian lines are shattered and we are over
the river and on our way in the last crushing "drive" of the war
so far as our end of the game is concerned.
Colonel William Wallace is ordered to take his Regiment
as the Advance Guard of Lord Caven's Corps, made up of two
British Divisions, 31st Italian Division, and the 332nd Infantry.
November 1 — 3 are days of marching and fighting and we never
hesitate until we find ourselves the first Infantry soldiers at the
Taglimentia River, late in the afternoon of November 3rd. We
halt with the Second Battalion on the right, including the blown-
up bridge. Third Battalion on the left, and the First Battalion
in reserve. It is a wild night.
62 Ohio Donuhhoys in Italy
Colonel Wallace was at the end of the bridge and Major
Scanland was ordered to take his Battalion across at 5.40 A. M.
The Austrians were telling Captain Austin Story, who com-
manded the Third Battalion, that an Armistice was to go into
effect, but Story replied, "We're going to blow you up — get your
During the night the boys crawled over the pieces of the
bridge and took up a position on the Austrian side of the Tagli-
mentia. Promptly at the time set the artillery opened up and
the Second Battalion, with Companies E, F, G and H in reserve,
deploy, and the Machine Gun detachments in position rise from
the Austrian side of the river and absolutely surprise the enemy.
Colonels Wallace and Everson were at the bridge and the enemy
tore up trenches in that position. They ranged their pieces too
far, thinking the Americans were on the far side of the river.
Hence, most of the bullets went over the heads of our troops. In
less than twenty minutes the Second Battalion smash through,
and the Austrians break and run for their lives.
The pursuit is organized and followed with such rapidity
that the Austrians never attempt to establish a new position.
Our boys push on through Codroipo, where over two million
dollars' worth of supplies are captured, and then on to the line
held when the Armistice went into effect at "fifteen hours,
November 4, 1920." It was glorious to see the boys smash
through and to hear their yells and to feel that the war was
about over. A British aeroplane flew over and dropped a pen-
nant to which was fastened — "Well Done." Most of the night
was spent by the 332nd in handling the prisoners, of whom there
were many thousands. The Austrian Generals were amazed
when informed that there had never been but one combat Regi-
ment of American soldiers in Italy. They reported that it was
suspected that we had at least six Divisions.
Major General DeAngelis, in G. O. No. 6335, expressed
his appreciation of the 2nd Battalion in the trenches and said,
"I am pleased to express to you my feelings of satisfaction, and
I beg you to tribute in my name a solen'jn approval of Major
Wm. G. Everson, Commanding Oflficer of that Battalion." The
British Commanding General decorated Colonel William Wallace
with the British D. S. O., and expressed his appreciation of the
Regiment. Major Frank Scanland was decorated with a silver
medal for his splendid service in leading his Battalion across
the Taglimentia. Decorations were awarded to Colonel Wallace,
Lieutenant Colonel Everson, Major Scanland, Major Burch and
Captain Story. Several war-crosses and medals are distributed
among the enlisted, and we all feel that it was a glorious cele-
bration and we are really glad to be alive and able to take part
in the festivities.
The terms of the Armistice gave us the right to use the
roads of Austria, and the right of requisition, and, with the
Austrian Army on its back, there was nothing between us and
Ohio Doiighbot/s in Itahj
Berlin. We were ordered to proceed by forced-marches to a
point designated as "the back door of Germany." We pushed
on through Rivolto, La Santissima, Pozzuolo, Lavaria, Buttrio,
Orsaria, Ipplis and Carmons. Colonels Wallace and Everson
went into the mountains as far as Tolmino.
Then, we are halted by the news on the 11th of November
that the Armistice had been signed with Germany. The war is
over and we thought our travels at an end except for the home-
ward journey. We yelled and sang and rolled on the ground
like a bunch of school kids. But our dreams are punctured when
orders came dividing the Regiment — Major Scanland to return
to Venice and take Companies E, F, G and H, and detachments
of M, G and Supply Companies to Cattaro, down in Montenegro;
Lieutenant Colonel Everson to take Companies I, K, L and M,
and detachments of M, G and Supply Companies to Fiume, via
Trieste. The Regimental Headquarters and the rest of the Regi-
ment were to return to Triveso.
We are not assembled again until March 9th, when Colonel
Everson brought the last detachment of troops from Cattaro.
The Regiment is back under direct command of Colonel Wallace
and nicely located in Genoa, waiting sailing orders for New
York, U. S. A.
The experiences of the detachments in Fiume and Cattaro
are full of interest because of the complications arising out of
the political situation along the Adriatic.
().^ Ohio Douglihoys in Italy
By COLONEL WILLL4M WALLACE
This article was taken from a copy of Colonel Wallace's Report
sent to Major General Glenn. Though an official document it is a
thoroughly human treatise on mighty interesting experiences.
The service of the 332nd Regiment of Infantry in Italy can be
divided into four periods: first, from our arrival to the commence-
ment of the Italian Offensive against the Austrians (from July
28th to October 27th, 1918) ; second, from the latter date to wide
dispersion of the Battalions on November 12th, 7th and 25th respec-
tively ; third, when the Battalions were operating alone in occupied
territory and beyond any direct influence of Regimental Headquar-
ters ; fourth, from the final assembly beginning February 15th.
Our first marches were more in the nature of triumphal pro-
cessions than of stern military operations. In every city — shouting
crowds, bands, banners, flowers, speeches and parades. Highly en-
joyable. I ?dmit, but more becoming the end of a victorious cam-
paign than the commencement of one by a concourse of raw re-
cruits. Militarily, it was not a good start. On arrival the regi-
ment was billeted in three good sized towns with the Machine Gun
at a smaller one and all considerably apart. The officers drew ex-
ceedingly comfortable quarters in fine villas, my own being palatial,
while the men were widely dispersed throughout the towns in quar-
ters that, though comfortable, contrasted greatly.
In addition, the Italian civil and military authorities and British
and French Commanders showered us with invitations which could
not be refused without causing offense. These took valuable time.
Drill areas were few and remote. Supervision and inspections, even
of Battalions quartered in a town, were difficult. The consequence
was that schedules were not fully carried out and the absent list ran
high. Training was essential and the men were not getting it, so
after about two weeks, on August 14th, I placed the whole Regiment
under canvas at Valleggio. The move was rather unpopular with
many of the officers and men, and was beyond the comprehension of
the Italians who had done so much for our comfort and entertain-
At Valleggio we made up for lost time. The training area was
ideal. An amphitheatre, two miles in circumference, for open war-
fare work ; a section of finely constructed trenches for trench train-
ing. I secured a Battalion of Arditti — Italy's best shock troops —
who had 28 engagements to their credit. On duty they always
double timed and had a major who did the same. Under their in-
stroiction, the Battalions were put through every kind of trench and
open warfare problems. Each Battalion actually lived in and op-
erated the trenches for three day periods ; while another maneu-
vered against and raided it day and night.
The open warfare problems were all carried through with ball
Ohio Bouglihoys in Italy 6'5
ammunition and employed one-pounders, trench mortars, field artil-
lery (Italian) and machine guns; all used against targeted posi-
tions. The Machine Gun Company of 32 guns went to the big Ital-
ian School for two weeks course of practical instruction. Every
man had a thorough course of range practice. All officers were
sent for a week's visit to the front line to actually see how opera-
tions were conducted in the presence of the enemy. I believe no
regiment had a more ideal course of training. Men and officers
generally responded well to the hard work required to carry it on.
I was concerned about securing a sector of trenches so as to be
in place when the offensive began. Visited every part of the line
and the Piave District looked best to me; so I went personally to
the Duke of Aosta and obtained an important section on his line;
and immediately sent Col. Everson's Battalion to hold it before the
Duke could change his mind. This assured the regiment a place in
the action when it should take place. The remainder of the Regi-
ment continued training at Valleggio until October 3rd, when the
entire regiment assembled at Treviso, a large town ten miles in the
rear of our sector. Three fine cavalry barracks were turned over
to us. Every man in the regiment was brought up to good marching
condition by being required to make marches in complete mobile
equipment. Little else could be done owing to terrific congestion
of troops and supplies. Every man was required to take these
marches. Before the offensive was over the necessity for this
toughening process was plainly in evidence.
The offensive began October 28. For the first week after ar-
rival some confusion existed in the issuing of rations owing to the
quality and number of articles required to satisfy an American. No
army the world had ever known called for such subsistence. The
tables of Royalty and Highest Commanders in Italy were not so
furnished. Nevertheless, after the first few days we were obtain-
ing nearly everything we desired — and where the Italians got some
of the articles has always been a mystery to me.
On one occasion near the end of the training it was proposed
by the officers and men that a minstrel and boxing show be given
in which we might all return our numerous social obligations. Dur-
ing the stay at Valleggio, I had reduced social functions to the min-
imum. Nevertheless, some invitations had to be accepted. The
officers had been entertained at messes when they visited the
trenches and by commanders on their way to them. The British
non-commissioned officers entertained ours at their mess at Lake
Garda and all were indebted to the Arditti, who had had entertain-
ments for them. It was expedient to have the matter over with at
once rather than spread over a considerable period of time, and be-
sides it meant a really creditable affair. I approved of it. The of-
ficers had their guests one night and the men two nights later.
Five hundred officers came on officers' night, and several thousand
doughboys on the men's. The entertainments were a success.
The second period of the Regiment's activities was partly
taken in the Italian offensive against the Austrians. We received
orders at 9.40 P. M., Oct. 28th, 1918, and at 10.30 P. M. were march-
Ohio Doughhoiis in Italy
*>f ,! ^
1. Dead Soldier Caught on Barbed "Wire Entanglements.
2. Snipci-s and Scouts, N. C. O.'s. 3. Offlcers of the 332d.
4. Stietclier Bearers Cai-rying AVoimded Italian Soldiers.
Ohio DoiighJto]/s in Itulij 67
ing toward the front. During the night of October 27th and the en-
tire day following, a heavy engagement along the whole line was
taking place. The 10th British Army of which we were a part,
though belonging to an Italian Division, was forcing the Piave im-
mediately in our front not 10 miles away. At 2.30 A. M., Oct. 29th,
we were halted at Varago, 3 miles from the front. All bridges over
the Piave had been destroyed by enemy fire and it was not until
9.00 A. M., Oct. 31st, that crossing became possible and we could
proceed. From then a run of all troops was necessary to overtake
the fleeing enemy. His rapid withdrawal was a surprise to the
Allied Commanders, who, I know, expected him to undertake rear-
guard action at the four big rivers he had to cross. Instead, he
"beat it" swiftly, only pausing to blow up every bridge and so de-
lay our advance. This regiment was the advance guard of the
Division and covered with its scouting parties a front of nearly
four miles. At the Tagliamento on Nov. 3rd, we found the Aus-
trians in position on the other side and during the night the 2nd
Battalion (Scanland's) crossed the river on a single plank foot
bridge, deployed and at 5.20 A. M. attacked, taking the enemy posi-
tion with the loss of only one killed and six wounded. It was mir-
aculous and had the Austrian machine guns reduced their range
but 100 yards the toll would have been very heavy. Then came the
surrender. Some Austrian high commanders wanted the Ameri-
cans to take charge of them. I couldn't do it. Didn't have enough
men to guard a tenth of their army and was scratching for food
for the regiment. In fact, we were practicaly out of it and it was
not until late in the day, Nov. 4th, that our supply since beginning
the march caught up with us, and this was only a meager two day
supply of "iron" rations. When I told the Austrians there was only
one regiment of Americans on the Italian Front, they would not be-
lieve me. They "knew" there were at least 300,000 of them. I
realized the propaganda had been good, but I never flattered myself
it had been anything like that. From the 5th on, began a rearward
movement into Italy of Austrians, 60,000 or 70,000 filed down our
lines of communication alone; thousands, too, of Italian prisoners
liberated by the Austrians. The regiment stayed at the Taglia-
mento during the 5th and on the 6th began, by hard marches, to
reach the line laid down in the armistice terms that might be occu-
pied as Italy's frontier if it could be reached by the 16th. That
these marches were hard, it is needless to say. The congestion of
troops alone was terrific, the roads were very bad, the bridges all
destroyed, and every step was taking us away from our supplies.
The British on two occasions, I understand, were feeding their ad-
vanced troops by air-ship-transport and the Cavalry were nearly
three days without food or forage and riding hard day and night.
At Ipplis, on the 8th, vs^e had to stop for four days to rest and get
up rations. We were bound for Tolmino, far up into Austrian ter-
ritory. I went there. The country at Ipplis and beyond was infest-
ed with a plague of the "Flu". The people were dying so fast, the
well didn't have time to bury them. On the 12th, Scanland's Bat-
talion (2nd) was ordered to Cattaro, Montenegro, returning to em-
Ohio DoiKjlihoijs in Italy
Sgt. Converse. Lt. Botagele ancfLt. Davidson
Machine Gunfire Station at Piave.
Private Hille of Ironton. Capt. Magnus, Our Adjutant
OJiio Doughbojjs in Italy 69
bark at Venice. The rest of regiment advanced to Cormans. The
epidemic still continued. On the 18th the 3rd Battalion was sent
to Fiume, Dalmatia, under Lt, Col. Everson, On the 24th, the 1st
Battalion, Headquarters, Machine Gun and Supply Companies re-
turned to Treviso, which they reached after hard marching on
November 28th, the BattaHon going into fine quarters at Dosson, 4
We began the advance with two days iron rations on person,
two days on rolling kitchens and an additional supply of various
kinds of food, that if properly used, would have assured us a five
days' supply. This was maintained to the date of crossing the
Piave. I had been assured by the Division Commander that 20 light
trucks (cameons) would be allotted to the regiment from a Divi-
sion Supply Train. The day after setting out, I was informed that
it would be impossible to let me have them and that I must depend
entirely on the Division for transport as well as supplies. The
British commander secured 30 mule drawn carts at Mira — 30 miles
to the rear — for me ; and these had to be sent for, loaded at Tre-
viso, and catch up. But, as said, nobody expected the phenomenal
pursuit that took place. All transport was completely outrun.
Trucks, kitchens, even our horses, had to be abandoned at the first
big river and we didn't see them again until the day after reaching
the Tagliamento when 12 of the 30 carts managed to get up, the
animals of the others having died on the way. During the advance,
the British again helped out, sending the regiment about a day's
supply of bully beef and hard tack. After crossing the Tagliamento,
our own transport was ample, but the congestion of traffic was be-
yond description. It was 4 days before the Division Depot got into
a day's striking distance. Moreover, when at the beginning of the
drive the line to be supplied by the Italians was comparatively
short, and connected with closeby depots by good roads, the end of
the advance saw the line to be supplied extended five times and
connected with depots far to rear by almost impassable roads that
were barred by broken bridges. The Italian S. 0. S. at this period
must have been sweating blood and that there was not a complete
breakdown in supply is one of the most creditable things of the
whole war. Enough to live on did get up; — it was not Charlotte
russe and champagne, but it was bread and meat.
The Battalion (2nd) which was ordered to Cattaro. Monten-
egro, has had the most difficult time. It was 1000 miles from Tre-
viso to Cattaro, by rail to Brindisi and boat across the Adriatic. It
had been ordered directly from the advance to Maestre (land port
of Venice) to embark.
On September 10th, with a little over twelve hundred men, I
reached Treviso where we received four days' special instruction.
We were then ordered to Varago, a small town about two miles
back of the sector of trenches we were to take over. We were wel-
comed by the Italian soldiers and with special letters from Lt. Gen-
eral Paolini, Major General De Angleis and Brig. General DeMaria
who commanded the Venato Brigade — to which we were assigned.
70 GJ;i<) DoiighJjoijs in Italy
The Anjerican Sector covered a mile front, the right of which rested
on the main road at Salettuol. We were visited by Generals and
distinguished men of England, France, Italy and America — even
his Honor, the King of Italy visited us twice — all spoke in the high-
est of praise because of the splendid condition of our troops and the
boundless enthusiasm of our officers. Everything possible was done
for us — in fact, I feel that we all had "the time of our lives".
When we were ordered to join the Regiment in preparation for
the "Last Drive", the Italian General wrote a letter of commenda-
tion and said that the association with the American officers and
soldiers was one of the rare pleasures of his life — and that he spoke
for all the Italian officers. On New Year's Day, 1919, General De-
Maria, who commanded the Veneto Brigade, wrote, "In memory of
our happy days together on the Piave, we send best wishes for a
Happy New Year."
We had reached Cormons after the "Great Drive". On Nov.
18, 1918, I was ordered with the Third Battalion to Fiume where
we became a part of the troops of occupation. Here we came in
close contact with the Italian, French, British and Serbian forces —
both military and naval. Our troop-train was the first train to g^
through since the signing of the armistice — both cars and service
were poor on account of damage done by the retreating Austrians,
During the drive our clothing was badly worn and in some cases
torn, but it was impossible to wait for new supplies. We took what
"iron rations" we could get and struck out for an eighteen hour ride
into Austria and along the Adriatic to Fiume. The officers were
billeted on the Ference Ferdinand — a very fine Austrian ship, and
the men had two large schools — heated, well lighted and ventilated.
When we left Fiume, letters of commendation were sent by
the following —
Lt. General Grazioli for the Italians.
Lt. General Tranie for the French.
Brig. General Gordon for the British.
Farewell banquets were given by the Italians and the British.
The various Political Organizations sent committees to express
their admiration and appreciation of the American contingent in
Fiume. The Spanish Consul told me that he had never seen a bet-
ter behaved bunch of soldiers. The entire town turned out on the
day we left. There were delegations from the Italians, French,
British and Serbian troops and sailors. There were three bands
and delegations from every large Civic organization in Fiume. The
Italian, French and British Generals and Admirals stayed in the
crowd at the station for nearly two hours.
Renort of 1st Battalion activities during the period from Nov.
24, 1918, to Feb. 13, 1919:—
November 24, to November 28, 1918.
The Battalion was detached from the Regiment and marched
from Langoris near Cormons to Treviso, Nov. 24th. The march
of approximately 80 miles was done in a period of, 5 days, in 4
stages, the men being billeted each night in comfortable quarters.
The Battalion was accompanied by Rolling Kitchens and hot meals
Ohio Douf/Jihoifs in Itnlii
Officers of the Second Battalion.
were served throughout the hike. The Battahon arrived in Treviso
on Nov. 28th. The country passed through north of the Piave was
infested with influenza and by contact many cases developed in the
Battahon. The Battahon was accompanied by ambulances which
carried the men who took sick enroute ahead to the Field Hospital
November 28, to February 13, 1919.
The Battalion with detachments from Machine Gun Co. and
Hqrs. Co. took billets at Dosson near Treviso in a large 3 story fac-
tory building which was being used as a military barracks. In an
out-building there were hot water shower baths to accommodate
50 men at one time. Field ranges were set up and Rolling Kitchens
turned in and portable wooden houses erected to furnish shelter
for the kitchens and rations. The winter was exceptionally mild.
Close order drill was held for 2 hours daily on drill fields about 1/2
hour's march from the barracks. In bad weather 2 hour hikes
were taken. The intention was to maintain discipline and keep
the Battalion in good physical condition. The drill was supple-
mented by an athletic program consisting of volley bail, indoor
baseball, football, soccer and group games under a Battalion athletic
ofl^cer with the idea that every man in the Battalion was engaged
in some form of athletics. Equipment was furnished by Y. M. C.
A. A Battalion soccer team contended with all the British teams
stationed in Treviso making a creditable showing, affecting good
7,,^ Ohio l)(ju(jhh()}is in Italy
sport and adding to the extremely cordial relations between the
British and American soldiers in Italy. The indoor baseball league
included a team from each platoon, six games being played daily.
I consider that the athletics were very successful and beneficial.
The Battalion had the benefit of the Y. M. C. A. schools at
Doson in the following subjects: History, bookkeeping, geography,
mathematics, salesmanship and law. These courses were optional
and successful. The Y. M. C. A. took over and operated an opera
house at Treviso using all available talent including a Battalion
minstrel. Shows were had on an average of 3 times a week.
On February 13th, the Battalion entrained for Genoa to join
Famous Collonade Approach to St. Peter's Cathedral. Rome
LIEUT. CARL H. TRIK, 3d.
74 Ohio DoiKjhhoy.s in Italy
By Cakl H. Tiuk, 3Rn.
When a rank amateur penman enjoys the distinction of
being sought after, when his "writings" are solicited in the
politely insistent way of an old maid after a particularly choice
autograph, and when finally he is assured that the publication
of his stuff is to be assumed by others, and the only thing to
worry him is to get his scribblings out on time, then may one
observe a true case of Ego Superba.
That, would you believe it, is just what has happened to
me. The publisher (here and after to be known at all times as
"My publisher") quite recently a perfect stranger, but now a
life-long friend, has laid before me the temptation to draw upon
my imagination in supplying him with reminiscences. Since the
stuff will undoubtedly be read by former buddies, I feel con-
strained to stick to the truth, as nearly as within my power.
This is going to be diffleult, I fear, because I have so many choice
memories picked up here and there, from various sources; and
have repeated them so many times, that I find it quite confusing
to pick the wheat from the chaff; since, after two and a half
years, I firmly believe they all happened to me. I am not alone
there, however, for I heard a chap the other day telling a war
experience of his that positively happened to me and the cir-
cumstances were too peculiar for it to be a coincidence. So there
In the Army, as is well known, the company clerk was
usually a pretty fair wheelwright, and a company mechanic
earned his civilian jack on a stool posting Aa — to I-J. There-
fore, I was made Regimental Intelligence Officer.
I was ordered to report to the Duke of A'Osta, Commanding
General of the Third Italian Army. I had to take with me three
battalion scout officers, Lieutenants Davidson, Nearn and
Childers. Our journey from Verona, near which city the outfit
was encamped, took us through Padua. The Italian moon was
living up to its reputation and we were sure that the Hun would
raid the city that night. Lieutenant Childers, a Second Battalion
Scout Officer, was an old timer. He had been sent to us from
France, where he had been a sniper Sergeant. He assured us
he was used to raids — and all that. We were glad to have him
with us. We felt that we needed his experience. That night, as
predicted, the Hun came over dropping eggs with a great to-do.
We rushed up to Childers' room and found him absent. The
bed had been slept in, but apparently not for long. Childers was
elsewhere. The next day towards evening Lieutenant Childers
ventured the hope that the Austrians would return that night.
"How come?" we asked him.
Ohio Doughhoiis in Italy 15
"Oh, kinda like the excitement," but he seemed evasive.
"Well, aren't you sort of impatient?"
"No, I just like the noise, I guess."
"You like the noise? Say, Buddie, where did you get what
"Oh, that! I only had a wee little one, but I'll tell you
birds, only I hate to share a good thing like this. You see last
night I went down into a Refugio during the raid and I found
pretty nearly every Italian woman within a rrtile jammed in
there, I think some of them stopped to put on slippers, but I
can't vouch for it. It was verv, very dark. Tonip-ht I am going
to sort o' hang around the entrance so I'll be sure of getting in,
for there's no use in taking foolish chances."
Then he got belligerent and bawled, "Now don't you birds
come hanging around my dugout, get one of your own. There
just ain't room for all Padua in there."
We had one picked out, but they didn't come again.
In a pretentious Venetian villa, in the quiet little town of
Mogliano, was housed the Comando Supremo of the Third Ital-
ian Army. This was the army chosen to guard the treasure of
Italy, the Domicile of Romance and Intrigue — Venice. His High-
ness, the Duca cl'A'Osta was in command of this flower of Italy's
armies. By virtue of his station, first Cousin to the King, and
his excellent generalship, the Duke made good. We four
American officers blew in there as per instructions and according
to Italian custom, before we could take up our duties, had to be
presented to His Highness. We were drilled by a conscientious
Colonel at Headquarters to be sure to say when we were in the
august presence. Yes, your Highness, this, and No, your High-
ness, that. They impressed upon us the awful consequences
likely to happen if we gummed the sacred interview with any
low American slang or custom, such as saluting with one's hat
off, or looking at the soup-spot on Royalty's tunic (not that this
is an American custom). We were finally ushered into his
luxurious office and beheld a tall man of about sixty-four who
smiled very kindly and was most congenial. We saluted when
we were presented, and darned if we could say anything but
"Yes, Sir, this" and "No, Sir, that," and I believe to this day the
Colonel who presented us thinks that we rubbed it in as we
saluted, as we left, because we wore no hats and the Italians
do not do this. They took that staff officer to the hospital that
night. He had Italian Rabies or something.
Lieutenant Davidson, the First Battalion Scout Officer, had
the honor of capturing the first prisoner ever taken by American
troops on Italian soil. He was crawling around in the muck of
the Levenza River to get soundings for a pontoon bridge. With
his work finished he was on his way back through the heavy
undergrowth when he said he smelled something funny. He
turned the man over to the Italians for dry cleaning.
Ohio Doughboys in Itdly 77
During the big push, on the Porclonne Road, which runs
straight as an arrow across the Venetian plains, I saw what was
to me the most pathetic incident of the war. A direct hit had
laid low six horses of a British heavy. One was on its side and
in the ditch. Down there in the muck and slime, up to her knees,
was a youngster of twelve or thirteen, carving steaks from the
carcass and throwing them up to her mother, an old hag of 40.
This sounds grisly now, but at that time I venture to say that
these peasants thought they were in fine luck.
The war, as is well known, finally ended, but the troubles
of the 332nd only began. The brave and famous Second Battal-
ion was shunted to Dalmatia, there to rot in peace, sans leave,
sans underwear, sans everything, but a life-sized grouch, and a
pretty little mixture called the "American Seestem." In a
moment of inspiration the town baker got out his Rum, Strega,
Benedictine, Marsala and Cognac. He mixed them all together
and hung out a shingle "Dreenks." The first meeting was the
worst. It was a very economic beverage. One only needed two
tastes and a whiff of the cork, and one called it a day. I met up
with it when the old belt was rather loose. I only had one taste
and no whiffs, yet that was the day I saw the famous Dalmation
Wzychowskii — a very rare animal. It has heavy eye-brows, two
heads, eight legs and never had any tail to speak of. It is ambi-
dexterous in that it runs first on one set of legs and then on
the other. They say down there in Cattaro that if it ever pursues
you the stuff is off. This thing did start after me, but luckily
it saw Major Scanlon commanding the Battalion, and swerved.
I have amibled along considerably as I knew I would even
when My Publisher said, "We only want about 300 or 400
words," Nice of him, to be sure, but I have that many thousand
to say about some things. Congressional Investigations for in-
stance, or perhaps hiking twenty-five kilos on a canteen of water,
or Supply Captains, or C. C. pills, or voices that bawl like a bull
on "Squads Left," or Asti Spumanti, or Wilson in Rome, or Italian
Bed-Bugs, or Dolce far nienti, or omelettes fried in olive oil.
But there ! — The whole thing was a dream, spotty here and
there it's true, though I am sure that with the mellowing hand of
time lightly brushing these spots they will gradually fade and in
eighty or ninety years we should have a right rosy picture of the
In these ramblings through memory I shall not attempt to
weave them into a continuous tale, I shall jot them down as
they come to me (or in the event of the failure of memory — as
they are born).
With the passing of Wilson and all his glory, one's memory
quite naturally harks back to the time when he was at the apex
of his popularity (that is, his European popularity).
7S Ohio DoiKjlihoj/s in Italy
It was, if you remember, immediately after his Italian tour,
that his sun began to set, ever so slowly, Ibut begin it did, and at
I w^as fortunate enough to have been ordered to Rome with
the guard of honor that was detailed to meet him at the railroad
station upon his arrival at the Eternal City.
We reported at Rome, New Year's Day of 1919, in all the
pomp and circumstance of men fresh from lousy billets and a
twenty-four-hour ride on the Italian speed demon which leaves
Paris one day and promises to get you in Rome the next day, but,
like many earthly promises, means a month.
We were well fed on the usual travel rations of iron, and
couldn't have considered eating a beefsteak under any circum-
stances. The steak would have been too great.
I took the men in my charge to the Red Cross house where
they slept on matresses with honest-to-goodness sheets and pillow
The first time in months those happy roughnecks had even
One strapping six-footer sat on the edge of the mattress and
peeled off his socks. Before he finally turned in he daintily lifter
the covers with due attention to the little finger which, as every-
one knows, should always be nicely curved. He heaved a pro-
found sigh as though ashamed to disturb the snowy whiteness,
and turning suddenly to his neighbor, said with tremendous
threat in his voice :
"Now, Edgar, don't you go making a mistake and try to
kiss me good morning."
Edgar looked up from a knotty shoelace. "No, ma'am! I
mean, no, sir," was all he said.
The next day Wilson came. I shall omit any description of that
justly famous occasion other than to say it was very Italian, Avhich is to
say very showy, very ceremonious, full of color and fanfare, and quite
the biggest thing that had happened in Rome since Nero played his
record-breaking "One-two-three, one-two-three." I mean that's the way
the Romans acted.
His Royal Highness gave His Excellency a big reception followed
by an awfully good dinner. Mr. Wilson was boarding at the Quirinal
while in the Eternal City. ]\Irs. Wilson and Margaret were with him.
George Creel and Admiral Grayson were around somewhere. I think
they stopped in the Annex.
Ambassador Page gave a luncheon to the King at his residence, in
the name of Wilson, I suppose. I do not understand diplomatic etiquette.
(I never could figure out whether a Duke beats an Earl, or a Baron tops
a Count, or a jMarquise a Duchess. And that counts in diplomatic
circles ; for if you, for instance, are a Duke and I only a Knight — you get
into the dining room first and thus get nearest the chicken, while I am
forced to the end of the line : and if there are manv Dukes ahead of me
Ohio Doughhoys in Ifuly
I 'm out of luck entirely, for I not only get a place 'way down the board,
but haven't even a good chance for any seconds.)
This luncheon which ^Mr. Page gave Mr. V. Emmanuel was to be
quite a doggy affair, if you know what I mean. Printed invitations,
Ilowers on the table, carpet on the steps, and all that. Very swank!
Very exclusive, and quite the function of the season. I do not know
what the Ambassador did for music at similar functions in the past —
but at this one he had a forty-eight-piece band furnished bv the bando-
liers of the 332d A. E. F. in Italy.
And I want to say right here there isn't, or never will be, another
band can touch that old Avindjamming bunch of privates of the 3S2d.
They Avent around to Numero Tre Dieci Via Vengte Septembre.
which is by way of saying, Mr. Page's house, at eleven in the morning
and tootled and blew and thumped until four in the afternoon. They
had had no breakfast nor any lunch, and as the time dragged on and
the King ate and ate and ate. it looked as though they'd be out of luck
But finally it was over. The men played the last salute and began
packing their instruments.
Mrs. Page, wife of the former Ambassador, is a dear motherly lady.
She it was who suggested the most novel and yet welcome idea of the
entire trip to date. It was nothing more than that the "poor hungry
boys be brought up and fed. ' '
You should understand that the men had been playing in the court-
yard around which the house was built as of a square. The banquet hall
of the house was on the third floor. Leading up to this floor were broad
beautiful steps of marble, down the center of which ran the conventional
strip of red carpet. On each landing stood a motionless American sentry,
steel hatted and bayonet fixed, shined, shaved and shampooed to within
80 Ohio Doughboys in Italy
an inch of his life. Goes the party, then; up these steps trooped the
band and I'elaxed sentries.
They were met by ^Irs. Page who led the hungry mob into the
dining hall recently vacated by the King of Italy and his wife, the
Queen, Mr. Wilson and family, and all the smaller fry in the form of
ambassadors and commanding generals.
At that luncheon were, besides the aforementioned, General Diaz,
Commander-in-Chief of all the Italian Armies; the Duca d'Abruzzi.
commanding all the Italian navies, a cousin to the King and brother of
Aosta (he's the chap who tried to marry a Philadelphia girl but who
was shown the nearest exit) ; the ]\Iayor of Rome and others I have for-
gotten. There were only sixty-three. Well, sir, do you know those boys
filed (I should say ran, for Mrs. Page hacl disappeared and left them in
charge of a major-domo) around that table and together with the sentries
and color-guard filled every chair there. And the chairs still warm from
the other distinguished — ah — guests ! I am stating the truth when I say
that I really believe the Pages had to dine out that night, because that
crowd not only ate the remains of the Royal luncheon, consisting of
patc-dc-foic grus, quail, s(iuab, artichoke, salads, blanc manges and so on.
but clamored for stuff a he-man could live on, and the obliging major
domo brought in roast beef, steak and a few potatoes. It was then six
o'clock and too late to do any marketing.
The rei)artee was good during that second meal. One buck took
the part of the King and another played the Queen. There was a Mr.
Wilson and a General Diaz. One lad possessed of a voice played he was
Margaret Wilson and elected to sing "How Dry I Am," with a mouth
full of Italian spinach. The chief protest came from the "Queen" sit-
ting opposite him.
I've often wondered whether ]Mrs. Page had her silver checked, for
we were souvenir crazy in those days.
I mentioned in a foregoing paragraph the Mayor of Rome. An
amusing incident in connection with the luncheon came up in the court-
The house, as I said, was built around a square. The ears entered
at one gate, stopped, discharged their occupants and left by another
gate. We had guards at lioth gates and a snapp}' buck to open and close
the doors of the cars as they swung around and stopped at the entrance.
The guards at the gates had absolute orders to let no one in not
possessed of an invitation and under no circumstances were they sup-
posed to permit any one to enter after the King had arrived, who, of
course, came last (but who w^nt into the dining hall first). I believe
that is how the saying originated anent "The last shall be first," although
our former Lieutenant-Colonel who worked for a church in civilian life
and, we hoi)e, still does — might take exceptions to that ; but then one is
always getting j\lr. Shakespeare, and the Bible and "Poor Richard" all
balled up — isn't one? The truth is the truth, regardless of whether it
comes from the mouths of babes or the ponderous dome of a Latter Day
Saint. "What boots it" if "people w^lio live in glass hous'^s" and so on.
are found among the begats or among the un])ulilished papers of Elbert
Hubbard, or, like Topsy, "just grow^d." It's a very pat bromide and
Ohio Doughboys in Italy
handy to have about if you care to take the risk of using it. All this
wandering away from the point is indicative of many things, but chiefly
shows up the amateur adventurer into the realm of scribble. So, to get
After the jolly old King had entered the blooming courtyard, step-
pin' high and wdde out of the motor indicating the merry old soul was
feelin' tojvhole, with his consort smiling as though she felt top-hole-er,
there fell a silence upon the men, broken only by a "tweet -tweet" from
some piccolo artist lightly running the scale, or a deep "phrumph" from
the bass horn, as of a German corporal in his cups.
Suddenly from the entrance gate rang out the sharp command
' ' Halt ! ' ' and the clash of bayonets as the two guards crossed their pieces
"Ah, Dio! Dio! Dio! Madonna! Ma nome! Prego! Americani,
Prego ! Prego ! ' '
"Who the hell is this guy?" I heard a sergeant ask.
The Last Grouche — "Is this all I get?
"Yah, some dead-head," said the other and addressing himself to
' ' Gwan ! Seat ! Via ! Allez ! Yer in wrong, buddie ! Sei partira
subito ! Get me ? "
The other got him indeed ! His only answer was more talk, more
moans, more "Dio's," more hand wringing.
By this time I was at the gate. The picture I saw w^as very interest-
ing. I looked down the Via Vengte Septembre lined on both sides with
the crack regiments of Italy's cavalry in full dress of burnished
cuirasses, crested shining helmets, drawn sabres, skin tight breeches,
elbow length gauntlets, black horses motionless. Behind the Cavalry,
in double ranks, stood the Infantry as far as the eye could see. And
pushing, shoving, yelling, hat-throwing, banner- and flag-waving was
the Roman populace doing homage to the famous "Weelson."
82 Ohio DoiKjhboijs in Italy
Iminodiately in front of nie stood the American .sentries on the
American soil of our Ambasador's house. They had dropped their pose
of crossed pieces and were now earnestly engaged in shoving with firm
and gun butts this upstart who sought to enter minus his ticket, on foot,
and ye gods of Custom, hear! After the Royal Presence had arrived,
above the babel of the people, one could hear the praying of the fat
person dressed in frock coat and shining top hat — slung about with the
red sash of officialdom and weai-ing enough hardware around his neck
to build a Henry.
In the midst of this scene much to the disgust of the sergeants on
guard, who, needless to say, were enjoying themselves hugely, came an-
other fat man. This one came from the house. He was awe-inspiring,
moving magestically on plump i)iano legs encased in blue silken knee
breeches, white silk stockings, black square-toe shoes with huge silver
buckles. He sported a scarlet coat of many buttons, trimmed with
whirly-gigs and gew-gaws. On his head rested one of those hats an
admiral wears, only he wore his from port to starboard instead of from
bow to stern — if you know what I mean. It looked like the hat Na-
poleon wore when he posed for that picture where his standing with his
foot forward as though he's just missed the rail by an inch, and his
right hand about to unbutton the front of his coat to pay the check.
Beside all this costume this fat. imposing personage carried a staff
as tall as himself — like an over-grown Bo-Peep.
Turning to us, he addressed us in English, ''Gentlemen, there is a
mistake! This man who desires the entrance in. is none other than his
Excellency, the Mayor of Roma. It is too terrible. He mus' be admit."
"T' hell he mus'." The men had found their breath you see. "Si! Si!
Si! T' hell he mus'! Yes! His conveyance have the mishap — it have
the trouble inside, I, Giuseppi Pasquale Antonio DeMore Rigotti, tell
you let him in."
"Who then," I asked, "are you?"
"If I? I? I? You ask me who I am? You have not know me?
Die!" He addressed the sky, finger tips on chest, forgetting for the
moment the Mayor of the City of Seven Hills, in this more important
business of establishing his profound importance in the world. "I
inform you, sir ! I tell you at once ! I, Giuseppi Pasquale Antonio
DeMore Rigotti who stands before you, am the Master of the House of
Page, Ecco! My word is the law."
"Oh," said a gaping sergeant, "you're the janitor, aintcha?"
"Janitor? I do not know this janitor," he puft'ed, "but this do I
know. The Mayor shall enter." Here he brushed aside the men, with a
wave of his lacy hand bid the perspiring and weeping ]Mayor to enter.
I let the ]\Iayor come, for the brilliant one evidently had some authority,
or he wouldn't have put on that trick suit. It meant something, ap-
I have often wondered whether the INIayor was socially ostracized
for his awful faux pas or whether it endeared him to the Italian people,
who were highly tickled by the Avhole incident, to such an extent that
society had to retain him in their good graces because of his growing
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 83
popularity. And truly to such tiny things may one trace the rise of
many great men.
You see, memory has taken me to Rome this time, and as it is hard
to break away from that beautiful, mysterious city, even in thought I
shall remain there to the end of this narrative.
I was stationed for weeks in the City of Brindisi. in the Province of
Toranto- My duties are beside the point — my recreation very much to
it. Rome was an eight-hour ride away.
I drew money for my men from an exceedingly disagreeable, un-
pleasant person stationed in Rome. Suffice to say he was a Captain of
the G. M., had come over after the Armistice, and was suffering from a
malignant attack of incurable swelled head. I rather fancy he is now
back in the shoe store. I hope you will forgive me, but honest, it had to
come out. At any rate, I was on a periodical trip to Rome for the men's
checks, I had my periodical fight with this bird who just simply hated to
part with money on general i)rinciples, and following that I had my
I>eriodical relaxation. When in Rome one does as the Romans do. The
first thing then to find out was — what do the Romans do? The answer
was, to say the least, intriguing to one's fancy. But it is the same as
is done in Paris — in Venice, or Budapest, in Film City — Hollywood or
Greenwich Village. So I went to see the Pope.
This was not so difficult to arrange as one would imagine. In those
iays the Pope was receivng quite a bit.
Seeing the Pope is expensive. Those doggone Swiss guards have
the itchingest palms in the world. They itch harder and longer than
any other type of leech in all of Italy or France.
The party I went with consisted of Naval officers, men on leave from
France, a Y. M. C. A. bravo or two, and some Red Cross women. He
saw us in gangs as it were. They tell me Samuel Gompers saw his Holi-
ness while he was in Italy. I don't know what they talked about but
look what Sam up and did recently !
What I am about to tell you is an example of that happy-go-lucky
dare-devil spirit which raised the Doughboy head and shoulders above
all the other troops in the world.
The Pope saw us and spoke the usual platitudes. He was very kind.
It is the custom when in audience with the Pope for any person of the
Catholic faith to bring rosaries with them; these the Pope himself will
bless. So, according to the ancient custom all Catholics in the party
possessing rosaries kneeled on the little red cushions with hands out-
stretched clasping the beads.
It was very still and very solemn. His Holiness murmured in Latin
and made the sign of the Cross over the bowed heads. We filed out in
silence feeling very subdued and well — as though we knew entirely too
much of the evil in the world.
But once outside in the Courtyard that leads from the Vatican to
St. Peter's, a young tow-headed ensign let out a most rousing whoop.
"Man! Man!" he said, "Lookit what I got! Lookit what I got!
Whoopee ! ' ' We stopped in astonishment and watched the excited officer.
'^■i Ohio DoiKjliboijs in Italy
Well sir — you'tl never imagine what he was squawking al^out, and he
had 'em, too ! That yonngster had, while clasping his rosary, held tightly
in his hands a pair of worn and yellow dice !
Now, is there anjavhere Init in America a lad wha 'd think of getting
his "ivories" blessed by the Po])ef I doubt it !
Wasn't it that spirit and that ingenuity (if one may call it that)
which l)roke the Hindenburg line! Forget the dice — forget what they
represent and look at the cleaner side of it and you'll take your hat off
to that kid.
By this time (this being the third installment) I have come
to feel quite the seasoned author. The immediate effect of these
accepted publications was however far different from what a "suc-
cessful" man of "literature" would expect. Hear me: —
Having taken unto my bosom and bank account a wife I nat-
urally felt as though I could look for a few pattings on the back, a
soft nuzzle or two from this fair creature who promised to honor
and obey, with reservations, her new provider. But did I get
them ? Hah ! After the first installment came out I confined my
activities to merely strutting before her telling her that she cer-
tainly hadn't made a mistake the leap year we were married ; that
Ring Lardner has his good points as has Sinclair Lewis, but the
present generation of young men were the comers and not to be
After the second installment came out with a portrait and
everything, I fancy I became more vociferous, with a few additional
trimmings to the struts in the way of preenings, gentle tweeks of
a soft mustache, and an air of quiet dignity which old Bill Robbins,
my ex-captain, would never believe possible.
The Light of my Life endured this for as long as any woman
could, before she blew up — but it is a long worm which hath no
twining and the crash came one evening from a sky of Harding
We were getting ready to go to some lecture (someone had
wished on us the tickets) and I was endeavoring to show her she
could improve her mind much more readily by listening to a suc-
cessful author hold forth on anything, rather than sit on a hard
wood folding chair and listen to some ex-Chatauqua speaker earn
his daily bread. For instance, I was more than ready to show her
why Georges is going the limit with Jack Bergdoll when they
meet — anyway — she stopped in the middle of yanking a hair from
her long-suffering brows and said with a mean look in her eye,
"Dear — I have something I clipped from the paper today, it should
prove so interesting to you, I'll get it".
"Aha" — thought i, "some Boston critic comments favorably".
"Here it is," she said, and the mean look was growing meaner,
"Mr. Edison says 'most men are boneheads' — wait a minute dar-
ling", this in honeyed tones, as I reached for my hat, "here is the
meat of the article". As she said this she settled deeper into her
Ohio Doughboys in Italtj 85
chair — the look in her eye now downright wild, " 'What', — and I'm
sure you can answer this at once, — 'does the king of Italy season
his tripe with ?' "
"Easy", I said— "He doesn't eat tripe".
"Wrong", she said, "Pepper is the answer".
"Tell me then," and she read from the clipping, " 'What new
great star has just been measured by the scientists?' "
"Cinch", I answered quickly, "Doggointis".
"Wrong again, my dear husband, Fatty Arbuckle is correct".
As she read on and on, down a staggering list of simple (I use
the word in all its meanings) questions, she interjected certain
pithy remarks to the point of Mr. Edison's observations. Adding
a few of her own such as "you're not so smart after all, honey", or
"funny you can't answer that — just the other day you told me" —
and such like.
Well sir, at the end she scored a clean fall, both shoulders on
the mat and I crying for mercy. She didn't say much — but she had
me licked to a fare - ye - well ; if there had been ten more quizzes
on that list she'd be wearing a new hat.
She summed up the little meeting by saying triumphantly
though gently, "You see if we had to depend on your writing for
our living, I'd have to take in washing".
Speaking of being married, — when I was in Italy with the
332nd I was very much single, consequently the war was not the
vacation for me that it was for a great many (especially for those
with large families). Having no desire to spill any beans, (in fact
I doubt if I could, for I am sure all dutiful husbands tell their wives
everything) I shall not touch, in these meanderings, even the edge
of the bean-bag.
I mentioned awhile back Bill Robbins. Bill Bobbins was my
old captain — that is rather ambiguous, for he's not so old — not too
old anyhow. He was an officer and a gentleman. The former was
proven by his bars and clinched by Act of Congress, the latter
showed in his voice. He had what men call a commanding voice,
I'll say it was. When Cap'n Robbins got through giving a com-
mand what few leaves were left on the trees could have withstood
a bigger wind than Ireland ever knew. There was no doubt as to
which way the Company was to turn, or the squads swing when
Willy sounded off. It is a fact, that in the old days in training
camp when two companies used the same drill grounds the lucky
captain whose company shared the ground with Cap'n W. Robbins'
command, didn't have to work at all. He could seek a shady nook
under the lee of a lumber pile, and rest assured every command
that Robbins gave would be carried out bv his own troops. It was
a voice built to shout "Ready— Aim— FIRE", or "CHARGE", and
its too bad it was only used to swing Goewey and other back-slid
looeys into line.
Let me take you with me now, to Venice — you men who have
been there — do vou remember the dark silent streets? the walled
8G Ohio Doughhoy.s in Italy
up Cathedral and the sand-bagged Doge palace? And do you re-
member how in your school days you were told of the Venetian
gondoliers? The singing gondoliers? Did you, then, remark the
woeful lack of levity in that beautiful silent city ? Remember how,
as the shadow^s fell over the "Campanile" you sat in the "Little
Square" and ate Lemone Giacci? and then, you recall, as you sat
there a great solemn hush fell upon that already too silent town as
of a breathless waiting, always waiting?, and as night fell darker
and darker, one spoke in whispers at the tiny tables, the only clear
sound audible being the clink of silver on glass, and the feeling of
expectancy increased with the passing of the minutes. About the
square, you will recall, silent dark shapes passed to and fro in the
utter darkness of w-ar-time Venice, and the vast, tense silence was
broken only by the stir of an uneasy pigeon under some age-old
eave. Finally the harvest moon arose in all its white magnificence
and changed that dirty, unpainted city into your dream Venice,
and with the shedding of its dead white light a sigh arose from
the Venetians who refused to flee their homes — for the harvest
moon spelled death. Only on moonlit nights would the Austrian
bring his low-flying bombers to wreck and ruin this jewel of the
It was on such a night I sat with Davidson and St. Bottegeli
of the Italian Army in the Little Square of St. Mark's. The moon
had been up an hour and it was beginning to look as if the Hun
woukl not appear, when suddenly the siren sounded, followed by
the crack-crack of the anti-aircraft, and this in turn was followed
by wave upon wave of furious machine gun fire. The archies bark-
ed and barked, the siren moaned and the machine guns reminded
me of a vicious little terrier snapping and snarling at an annoying
person with a stick. Clearly above this came the drone of the
motors of the night-flyer from Austria. Thrice she circled Venice
trying to penetrate the ring of steel thrown up by the defense —
But it is not my intention to describe anything so prosaic as are
air raids — I merely mentioned all this to say that since I deliber-
ately walked over the Lion of St. Mark's and sat at its base during
the whole performance just to be able to say at some time that I
sat there while Venice was being raided — I am not going to miss
this opportunity to do that very thing.
While in Venice I discovered many interesting things. One
was how easy it is to get pinched in Italy. I carried a pass from
the army to take pictures. So, of course, I took my camera to
Venice — and landed in the Dago Hoosgow. Venice, it seems, was
under the Navy — an Army pass was as good as a Russian ruble.
It took some mighty tall talk on the part of my Italian friend to
keep me from being hekl for investigation by the Navy, and then
when that was finally straightened out (which was only after
Betocchi had sworn on the Italian I. D. R., the bible, his grand-
father's memory, and in the name of his patron sain^) we had to
go all through the same motions to save my camera from confisca-
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 87
That night I stayed in the city. I had a room on the third
floor facing the Canale Marsetti. I do not know what Marsetti
means, but if someone said "Oh — Marsetti is Itahan for 'stink' I'd
say, yes, yes, of course, how dense of me", and at low tide it should
be "stinkissimo". Well — this is the true story of why the gondo-
liers sing in Venice.
Upon arising the next morning I took the usual hop, skip and
a jump across the stone floor to my wash bowl and pitcher, and
stood on the little two by four rug while I dressed and shaved.
During this operation the Italian femme de chambre entered. I
had always given her credit for knocking though I didn't hear it;
I fancy she felt perfectly safe, being the proud possessor of quite
a mustache. After one glance at her hirsute adornment on lip and
chin I went on shaving. She made a few passes at the bed — took
out the pitcher and filled it, returned with it, and some fresh soap
in a scaly hand, which she handed me with a grimace I took for a
smile. Her next move was to take the waste-water jar and, hav-
ing first thrown back the shutters, she heaved the entire contents
into the canal. She missed a Venetian "taxi" by two feet. There
followed a line of conversation from the taxi-rower, the gist of
which was she should have been born a duck. She had a duck's
brains, a duck's face and a duck's feet — Ecco ! How come she
wasn't a duck? The Italian language is beautifully suited for
such delightful repartee. Her reply was in kind, of course. It
seems, according to her, he was not a man nor even an animal, he
was only a running sore on the face of the good mother earth. A
pollution to be spat upon, something to be shunned by mankind.
Besides what in the name of the devil did he have a voice for?
Was he so far in his second childhood he could not fill his puny
lungs with the Good Lord's sweet clean air, and raise a note on
high? After consigning his carcass to eternal torment she slam-
med the shutter with a satisfied smile. She was content. For all
he could find to answer, as his impatient fare demanded he hurry,
was to shake a mean fist, the elbow supported in the palm of his
I returned to Italian Hdqrs. that day, but I felt that another
illusion had been dispelled, for I, like all the rest of America,
thought the Italian gondoliers sang for the love of singing alone.
Well — he does love to sing, but I can well imagine it gets monoto-
nous when you have to keep it up or get soaked on the head with
the contents of various jars and pitchers — what?
A whole regiment on a bat ! Ever hear of it ? The other day
a perfect stranger came up to me and said, "Pardon me, but were
you ever in Genoa?"
"I certainly was", I answered in surprise.
"I thought so," said he, "I never forget a face, and I'll never
"Nossir! Remember the Olympia?"
Did I remember the Olympia! Did I know my own name!
SS Ohio Doiiiihboys in Italy
"Well sir, I saw you in the Olympia trying to shoot billiards
with some other looeys trying the same thing."
"I admit," I said a bit stiffly, "I cannot shoot a perfect game
of billiards, but ".
'There, there," he broke in, "there was a good reason for your
failure this time. I was a gob on shore leave and enjoyed the
game more than you did."
From this on we drifted into the usual talk and parted after
an hour. But he reminded me of that day and vivid night in
Genoa. That never to be forgotten day and night when the cab
drivers of Genoa felt the weight of hilarious American fists — when
the red, red wine flowed and gurgled and the fire of pent-up deviltry
blazed from the eyes of a thousand men.
It was all because of disappointment and homesickness, the
breaking of a tension known only to the man who loves his home
and country and is unable to return when he wills.
We had been away from home for years, so it seemed, and here
we were at last in Genoa, the jumping off" place for home — the place
where the final adieus would be said to the land to which the for
tunes of war had brought us. We went to Genoa in high spirits
and with light hearts. But as day after day passed in monotonous
drill and anxious waiting for the final word to GO, the old morale
went lower and lower until we were the home-sickest aggregation
of mis-fits known to man.
One day orders were sent out to pack up and take all baggage
to a certain ship and await sailing orders. One can imagine the
activity that followed, gone was that gloomy air that hung over
Genoa like a thick fog — gone the lagging gait of homesick bucks.
In their stead one saw springy-footed young soldiers, square shoul-
dered and browned by the sun of Italy, hustling hither and yon on
various duties. Coronas clacked away on passenger lists — order-
lies scampered, and captains looked important, looeys once more
acquired that worried look as they thought of the trip home and
the duty below decks. Also there was much speculation as to
which bunch would be unlucky enough to sail on the same ship with
the Lieutenant-Colonel. The same being a parson in the days he
wore long pants, before the war. Not that the parson wasn't prop-
er company, but he had certain rigid ideas as to what should go
into the decanters.
All was finally in readiness and the men were once more gath-
ered in little groups singing and joking and — praising their officers.
At any rate a second looey passed them the laugh, so that's what
they must have been doing. Then — out of a clear sky as it were —
came three perfectly superfluous generals. They spent good time
and money to come all the way down from Paris to tell us that
somebody's foot slipped somewhere ; that we were not due to go
home ; that that ship was needed elsewhere ! How did we get that
way, packing up and changing money back to dollars, and every-
thing? Now go back to quarters and stay put until fiirther orders,
and lot more nobody heard.
That night in Genoa merry hell broke loose. And the later it
Ohio Doughboys in Italy 89
got the looser it got. Until by morning there was so much slack
to take up it looked as though the Old Man had better take back
his prize outfit in a row-boat.
I remember one thing that happened that night. There was
a civilian in Olympia at the time the dining room was most crowded
with the A. E. F. He was an American and some sort of relative
of one of our Sergeants. He was well heeled with lire and carry-
ing a heavy cargo of Spumanti. He reminded one of a tramp
steamer stopping at various ports o' call. He would be seen first
at one table and then one would discover him steering a tortuous
course through the reefs of legs and chairs to another table where
he would stop long enough to take on some more freight, only to
leave shortly for another. And so on until the hold was full and
the gunwales awash. It was this lad who emerged into the night
with some army men shouting the Battle Cry of Freedom. The
cabbies suffered even more than the chinaware that night — but it
was found that this sea-going civilian had had his nose chewed off
by some unthinking night-hawk who had lived on macaroni and
octopus for so long he evidently welcomed the chance to get a bit
of fresh meat.
It was not that we had anything against the cabbies, who were
merely petty thieves, it was, I really believe, that every man jack
who swung a fist that night saw before him, not a fat-faced be-
whiskered, patent-leathered-hatted goo-goo, but a lean faced,
square-jawed man with a star on his shoulder.
The whole thing was healthy and normal and quite natural,
and was healthily and naturally regarded by the old man.
I never knew how the old man's assistant took it, but presume
that was why he clamped an awful lid on the ship he commanded
going home. But say, — doesn't it beat the deuce how a man will
act? My own ship, the one on which the Colonel sailed, was not
dry, and one would have thought they were in the Sahara from the
amount of stuff that flowed. But — when we met the ship com-
manded by the Lieutenant-Colonel in Gibralter, and went over to
advance they gave — Oh Boy ! We were met on all sides by invi-
tations to "Slip down to my cabin — just have two left," or "walk
nonchalantly past that window where the Colonel sits, then run
like hell for room 28." One lad on this dry ship was reciting over
and over a little poem. It began and ended thus, "The Mutt stood
on the Burning Deck — Hot Dog."
It was up by the pilot house where the Enghsh captain pa'^ed
the bridge and smoked a wicked pipe. His patience was finally
exhausted for he took the pipe from his mouth and bawled, "I say,
matey, won't you give that animal about face, or burn the bloody
And so we left Italy, the land of the flea and home of the
knave — "knaves" insofar as the prices they charged a yankee ; and
although every man swore he was through with Europe, today if
he is subject to the normal reactions, would whoop at the chance
to return and go over the old ground inch by inch, stepping the
weary miles with a smile.
90 Oliio DoiKjhhoijs in Italy
One Meaning of America
HIS miracle we call America is still in the making and
before our very eyes. A new nation, more — a new race —
is in evidence, compounded from the ambitious, the adven-
turesome and the courageous of all peoples. If that new
race is to play its worthy part in history we, in the mak-
ing, must preserve and develop in its new generations, the better
characteristics of its forbears. We must preserve in modern forms,
and against modern conditions, the dauntless courage of the Norse-
men, the steady self-reliance of our American pioneers, the steady
persistence of the Pilgrims, the chivalry and idealism of the Cru-
saders, the rugged sense of justice and fair play of the Saxon.
Ours is a land blessed by nature in natural wealth of field and
mine. Ours is an ideal democratic government, of fair play, hold-
mg open the door of equality, of opportunity for individual industry
and abihty to lay its rightful tribute on the resources they develope
for human service. Ours is a social structure that holds no man
in the deadening tyranny of a rigid class system and recognizes
only an aristocracy of character and knowledge. Ours is a political
system that rests on a supreme trust in the motives and impulses
of the average man and woman ; a submission without violence, to
authority established in the majority will, honestly recorded.
I believe it is typically American also, that with these larger
opportunities should come also an increasing sense of equality of
trust vested in the more fortunate, and also typically American
that among men of all stages of personal fortune there should be
a clear evidence of a desire, a unity of impulse, that each, accord-
ing to their means, more and more support the agencies of human
service and co-operation.
From an address by JULIUS H. BARNES.
Ohio Doii(jhJ)oys in Italy 91
The Log of Company "D"
is the title of a book containing seventy-five pages of great memo-
ries woven into narratives and illustrated with pictures.
The Editor speaks:
"Our Story begins on a rainy Friday Afternoon. It was
a beginning, an ominous beginning, of a long and interesting
chain of movements whether good or ill, of the 332nd Regiment
of United States Infantry. We trace those movements, relat-
ing briefly their meaning and their import, together with their
attendant consequences, consequences which helped to bring
ruin and disaster to a quartet of decadent and barbaric nations
of the Twentieth Century."
The volume deals with Company D more particularly, but is
equally interesting to any former member of the 332nd Regiment.
Only about a half-hundred copies left but these are ready for
immediate delivery. First come first served. Mail this coupon
To WALTER C. HART,
3035 Euclid Hghts. Blvd.,
Enclosed is $3.00 for which send immediately by insured parcel
post, one copy of "The Log of Company D, 332nd Infantry", to
(Street and Number)
(City and State)
Ohio Donghhoys in Italy
FIRE INSURANCE- LOANS
99 YEAR LEASES
Of F I C CR S
L » CONELLY PntsTKIAS
C W BROWN Vice P«t9
W R JCAVONS Vict P»t»
E D RAY Vici PP<C»
G W CONELLY StCneTAXr
.uc.Lm ,o»T» .T. CLEVELAND. OHIO
January 24, 19£1
Mr. Philip S. Godfrey,
Atlantic City. H.J
I ha7e read the copies &f th*
Soldlera and Sailors Bulletin which you mailed
to me and have found them very Interesting.
The story of the 332na Infantry le the moat
correct and interesting of any that I have seen.
I was a Ist Lieut, in Company and
therefore am thoroughly familiar with the move-
ments of the Regiment and eepocially the 2nd
Battalion. I have seen a mucoar of accounts
regarding the work of our Battalion and have
had many a laugh over some of the statements made
by different writers. Your story, however, gives
a very complete history of the entire regiment.
I am enclosing a check for $2.00 to
covar a years subscription for the Soldiers and
Sailors Bulletin, to begin with the Bovember 1,
Ohio Doughboys in Italy
THE DLfllTH HERALD
februnry the eighth
19 2 1
Dear Mr, Gore:
r receiveJ your advertising circular "Times
Are Good" and it was so g"od that I have had it printed on
the Editorial rage of the Herald. I aa enclosing the page
from our issue of Monday, February the 7th, and am sending
under separate cover » full copy of our issue of that date.
I hope everything is going well with you.
c)j^ Ohio Douglihoys in Italy
Additional copies of this book may
be obtained separately for $2.00 or in
combination with a year's subscrip-
tion to The Soldiers* and Sailors'
Bulletin for $3.00.
PHILIP S. GODFREY, Director,
Guarantee Trust Building,
P. O. Box No. 666,
Atlantic City, New Jersey, U. S. A.
MB - 61
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